Rick Ryan's story

"I thought, ‘This isn't right, something's wrong here.’

Initially, my doctor said, ‘Look, it's probably just a polyp. We'll get in and have a look, remove it, and you'll be right.’ But he woke me up out of the anaesthetic and said, ‘We really need to talk.’

So he got me back into the office the following week, and he said, ‘You've got a tumour.’

There's anxiety. There's denial. But eventually I was all, ‘OK, we're going to do this.’

My doctor said, ‘Look, I can do the operation here, but I recommend Peter Mac.’ I took his advice.

I seriously couldn't believe how well Peter Mac ran. It just flowed like clockwork. And everyone was treated like an individual – the care was amazing.

For six weeks, I had chemotherapy and radiation therapy five days a week. The initial chemo and radiation process had actually shrunk the tumour. Prior to that, it literally felt like I was sitting on a golf ball.

Then they did keyhole surgery. They removed a reasonable portion of my large intestine, and then I had the colostomy bag fitted.

No one is immune to cancer. At some stage or another it will be your or your family, or a close friend. So if you have any money that can be put towards research, it's going to help everyone.

What I remember most is coming into the Peter Mac foyer entrance one day, and there was a young mum and dad with a child who was probably a five-year-old. They had the trolley and all the tubes connected to this poor little kid. And yeah, and here's me, and I'm thinking, ‘What was I worried about? Mine was fixable.’

I certainly did feel like one of the lucky ones."

Rick Ryan, former Peter Mac patient and cancer survivor.

Rick was diagnosed with a life-threatening colorectal cancer. Past investment in research means that more than five years on, he is alive and well.

But too many families are still losing loved ones to cancer. Your donation to Peter Mac will fund vital cancer research to help give every cancer patient the best chance of cure.


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