Where are they now?

Summer 2014, Living Well Magazine

Where are you now?

We know a lot of past participants are on our mailing list. We’d love to hear from you and find out how your health journey has been over the years. It is the stories of people like you that inspire others to come to our programs or donate in support. Email marketing@gawler.org to share.

Celebrating 30 years has got us to thinking…where are our long-term survivors now? Pat Thoms responded to our call in the last magazine to share “Who’s on Your Recovery Bus” and in passing mentioned that she has been a member for 28 years and attended four programs. She’s been with us all the way! Clearly she is also in robust health.

Here’s what she told us about her recovery bus.

“My Recovery Bus is heading for PARADISE.

I have a full bus brimming with all positive wonderful people who all want to help me reach my destination.

Sprinkled all over my bus are Positive Proactive things including Love, Hope, Healthy Food, Prayers and well wishes, Inspiration, Hugs and lots of Fun & Laughter, Gratitude, Singing, Dancing & of course my Journal is on board.

My bus has been traveling for almost 10 years now and is still sturdy, strong, active, determined and nobody has dropped off. These are my precious travelers on my shared journey and all have and still are loyal, caring & been a huge part of my healing & I will be forever grateful:

  • My precious husband Graeme
  • My beautiful immediate & extended family
  • My close friends from all aspects of my life
  • I have embraced & respected both Conventional & Integrative medicine
  • The Gawler Foundation; Ian & Ruth, Paul, Maia, Seigfried and the team. (I have attended 4 times and been member for 28 years).”

She goes on to name her extensive and varied therapeutic team including: oncologist, hematologist, surgeon, integrative practitioner, GPs, radiotherapy team, counsellor, meditation teacher, masseur, yoga teacher, weight training coach, harpist, laughter group, tennis & yoga support friends and her local organic store.

Kind Regards

Pat Thoms

“I found great inspiration through the experiences of my fellow attendees and am very grateful for their openness and courage.”

Colin Deely has lived a lot longer than he was supposed to.

On Christmas Day 2007 in Mackay, Colin presented with grand mal seizures. Scans revealed a mass, so he was transported to Townsville Base Hospital where confirmation of a Glioblastoma Muliforme (GBM) was received.

He says “I was completely shocked and devastated with the prognosis post-surgery of a usual 6-12 month survival period and a very low chance of survival beyond that.”

Being surrounded by family (his wife & two children –  4 & 6 years old at the time) and friends, he soon found a determination to take some control over the situation.  He refused to just let ‘it’ run its course.

The love and support from friends and family was quite overwhelming.

“My family and most of my friends are Christians and prayer became a crucial part of my experience,” says Colin.

A friend sent a copy of ‘You Can Conquer Cancer’ (by Ian Gawler) to Brisbane as he began radiotherapy and it offered a means of taking some control by what seemed to him to be very simple and logical means, particularly the diet and juicing, although meditation was quite new to him.

Colin describes his journey since then.

“I attended the 10-day ‘Life and Living’ Cancer Healing program in April 2008 and was challenged with many new experiences and ideas, but left feeling uplifted and hopeful. I found great inspiration through the experiences of my fellow attendees and am very grateful for their openness and courage. I returned home armed with a plan and the right tools and information to put the plan in place.

My wife, Sandra, and I attended two of the subsequent follow-up retreats, which we found such a beautiful experience.

I continue to follow the principles of the diet quite well, I feel. The same logic that I found when I first read Ian’s remarkable book still sits very well with me and I see no reason to ever change that. I have a wife who is quite extraordinary and she has supported me with food and juices, and simply by being the best ‘carer’ I could ever want. Sandra and our children have encouraged me to ‘stick at it’. I am very blessed to have them in my corner.

I also continue to meditate regularly. Since my diagnosis, I have suffered from high levels of anxiety and my meditation and prayer helps me immensely (as do a few wise words of common sense from my wife). I still love the feeling of the moment when I ‘let go’ as Ian expresses so well in his CD’s.

Clearly I have been able to outlast the initial prognosis I received during the final days of 2007. Apart from a couple of post-surgical seizures and tiredness, I have remained well and most importantly, cancer-free since the day of my surgery.

Hearing my oncologist declare me in complete remission a few years ago was quite an emotional moment. Sandra and I nearly danced down the hall of the hospital and jumped up and down in the elevator as we left.

Having said that, I try to get the most out of every day.

I have had the honour of meeting a number of fellow GBM patients, many of whom have not had the good fortune as I have had. I feel so very blessed to still be here with my family.

I am so grateful to all the people who have helped us over the past 6 years, particularly the wonderful team at The Gawler Foundation.”