ECHUCA’S Bruce Rankin is a brave man.
And his support team, aptly named Bruce’s Brain Brigade, were out in force this month.
They showed just what the power of friends and family can do when they raised $4700 for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation when they did the 5km Melbourne Walk4BrainCancer.
Bruce was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme, terminal brain cancer, in April 2016 and has not looked back in trying to help others.
Bruce’s partner Leanne Hanson said while it may be too late for Bruce, he is hoping to raise awareness for others.
‘‘There is no cure and treatment options haven’t changed in Australia in over 30 years due to lack of funding for research,’’ she said.
‘‘Brain cancer doesn’t discriminate and effects people of all ages.
‘‘Bruce’s treatment so far has involved brain surgery at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, six weeks of radiotherapy as well as low dosage chemotherapy medication for the six weeks in Bendigo.
‘‘Then there was six months of strong chemotherapy medication and 2-3 monthly MRI’s in either Melbourne or Bendigo.’’
Bruce completed his treatment in December but in July his tumour returned and another appeared.
‘‘Bruce commenced Avastin IV treatment which has cost us $25,000 because it’s not yet on the PBS for brain cancer,’’ Leanne said.
‘‘The drug company now pay for the treatment as Bruce has had a good clinical response after six treatments.’’
‘‘These are done in Bendigo every two weeks but I am in the process of hopefully getting treatment moved to Echuca to save on travel time, travel costs and energy.’’
Each year the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation holds walks in a number of capital cities to increase awareness and raise funds towards finding a cure.
This year Bruce, Leanne and 21 family and friends, the majority from Echuca, participated in the Walk4BrainCancer on Sunday, November 19.
‘‘It was amazing to walk with 3000 other people, all connected by brain cancer in some way,’’ Leanne said.
‘‘We’re just trying to do our little bit and whilst it may be too late for Bruce, he hopes raising awareness and money will benefit others facing this disease in the future.
‘‘We’d also like to mention cancer support nurses Serena and Jenny at Echuca Regional Health who’ve been very supportive throughout this roller coaster that nobody wants to ever be on.
Leanne said the one thing both Bruce and herself have learnt is to live each day and try and find some joy and happiness along the way.
You can donate to Bruce’s Brain Brigade at walk4braincancer.com.au/my-fundraising/5513/bruce-s-brain-brigade