John Nixon’s family has been hit hard by cancer – but now he has fought back in away that will help his whole community.
Mr Nixon won his own battle against bowel cancer while living in Temora more than six years ago.
After moving to Wagga, NSW, the family received another setback when his 20-year-old son Bradley was diagnosed with both bowel and liver cancer.
Mr Nixon was shocked to find there was no active Can Assist branch in Wagga.
The branch provides financial and other support to cancer sufferers needing treatment away from home.
Mr Nixon vowed to battle for its return.
“The government support is a joke,” he said.
“Everyone in Wagga would be directly or indirectly affected by cancer – I say that with confidence.”
Financially and in every other way it's drainingJohn Nixon
Now, after a two-month journey, the branch has finally arrived – with its first meeting to kick off on Monday night.
“Financially and in every other way it’s draining,” Mr Nixon said.
“My young bloke had to go through six months of chemo and then the specialist told him he wouldn’t be working for the next 12 months.”
Now the fight has finally paid off, Mr Nixon encouraged everyone to get involved to ensure the branch remains alive.
“I was in absolute shock when I found out there wasn’t something in Wagga – I couldn’t believe it,” he said.
“Since we’ve got things going people have been fantastic and it’s all starting to finally come together.”
Voting will take place for a president, vice president, secretary and treasurer to mark the start of the new body.
“If we can’t elect an executive then there won’t even be a branch so we really need people to get up and nominate,” he said.
Mr Nixon said the branch was looking for people of all ages and of all walks of life, with around 30 direct responses and one 16-year-old girl already registering her interest.
“Just get down there, it’s all so important,” he said. “It’s great to see because we do want a variation in ages.”