Allan’s generosity shines through during trying time

Icon Writer / 16 May, 2024

When Hobart resident, Allan was diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer in 2022, his first thought wasn’t about himself.

Over 1850 patients have been treated at the centre since it opened in February 2019.

Instead, the 64-year-old immediately thought of his family.

“When I was told of my diagnosis, I knew it wasn’t good, but I was determined to beat it,” says Allan.

“I’ve been married to my wife, Jeanette for 45 years and we have two children and four grandchildren. From the start, I’ve been determined to beat the cancer for them.

“When I received my diagnosis, I was told I had three to five years to live. I said I wouldn’t accept that. I want at least another ten.”

Allan first noticed symptoms when his bowel movements became more frequent, leading him to take a bowel cancer test.

Following his diagnosis and surgery to remove some of the cancer, Allan commenced chemotherapy at Icon Cancer Centre Hobart under the care of medical oncologist, A/Prof Louise Nott.

“Louise has been amazing. I had a trip to Melbourne during my treatment and while I was away, I experienced bleeding. I called Louise on the Saturday and she contacted me on the Sunday and arranged to see me first thing on Monday morning. Louise and the team at Icon are incredible and go above and beyond,” says Allan.

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It is for that reason, Allan and Jeanette made the generous decision to donate to the Icon Cancer Foundation, a not-for-profit charity that raises funds to support Icon Cancer Centre’s network of doctors and healthcare professionals to do vital independent cancer research.

“The team at Icon in Hobart have given so much to me, so I wanted to find a way to give back to them. It was a great feeling when we signed the cheque,” says Allan.

“I’ve had a good life and I want to be able to help others who are going through cancer.”

While Allan has shared his giving nature with the Icon Hobart team, he has also shared his vibrant personality.

During his treatment, Allan has worn a series of brightly coloured shirts, bringing smiles to the faces of patients and staff at the centre.

“Any kind of shirt I can find that’s bright, I wear to treatment. It’s a way of being positive. There’s a lot of negativity at a cancer centre, so I wanted to make people smile,” says Allan.

“My daughter is a hairdresser, so she has also given me brightly coloured hair. The reactions have been lovely and a good talking point for people.”

Allan is now determined to spread the bowel cancer awareness message.

“I had the (bowel cancer screening) kits sitting in the drawer at home for a while and didn’t use them until I experienced symptoms,” says Allan.

“My message to people is, when you get them, use them. It’s a simple test that could save your life.”

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