Flinders survivor 'forever looking over his shoulder'

Flinders resident Noel Dare mans a fund-raising stand before Daffodil Day. Picture: GREG TOTMAN
Flinders resident Noel Dare mans a fund-raising stand before Daffodil Day. Picture: GREG TOTMAN

IN the lead-up to Daffodil Day each year, retiree Noel Dare can be found manning his stall stocked high with bears, pens, magnets and key rings.

The 80-year-old Flinders resident has raised $70,000 selling merchandise for the Cancer Council over the past six years and reckons the stock is flying off his stall this year.

Supporting the annual fund-raiser is Mr Dare's way of giving thanks to the organisation that helped him in his time of need.

It's also a reminder for him to keep his health in check, nearly 20 years after his battle with cancer ended.

"I went to the doctor in 1996 after my wife noticed a mole of my shoulder that looked nasty, and I was diagnosed with melanoma," Mr Dare said.

"It had gone into my bloodstream and I had surgery but later that year I had an ultrasound for pain in my rib area, which showed that there was a tumour wrapped around the head of my pancreas.

"One doctor gave me three months to live and told me to go home and die, but I didn't accept that and underwent the Whipple procedure [pancreatoduodenectomy]."

Mr Dare survived but said he'll forever be "looking over his shoulder" and waiting for the cancer to return.

He's not alone - a recent Australian study showed around 70 per cent of cancer survivors have fear of their cancer returning. Up to one-third of survivors experience some kind of psychological issue, such as anxiety or depression, six months following their cancer.

This Daffodil Day, on Friday August 22, cancer survivorship issues are a priority for Cancer Council NSW.

The organisation hopes to raise $3.2 million through the fund-raiser to support those touched by cancer, including those facing psychological obstacles.

For Mr Dare, sharing his story and fund-raising helps keep him positive. "It's very rewarding for me to take part - it's not just about raising money, it's about raising awareness and supporting other cancer patients," he said.


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