In March 2016, Paul Blow was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma. His persistent hayfever wasn’t responding to medication, and when his nose started to bleed, he thought he’d better get it checked out.
After surgery and chemotherapy at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Paul’s cancer is tracking well. “It’s strange as I often feel totally ‘normal’ but then I’ll suddenly crash for two or three days and just want to lay around and sleep all day,” Paul says.
From his home in Diamond Beach, north of Newcastle, Paul travels for regular check-ups. Once an avid surfer, his balance isn’t what it once was, but he keeps fit by doing laps in the pool and walking his dogs twice a day.
Having cancer has changed Paul’s priorities – he doesn’t sweat the small stuff anymore. It’s also motivated him to give back to the community. After meeting Chief Clinical Officer Michael Boyer for his treatment, Paul asked how he could help.
“I never realised that this institution was there, and once you’ve started your course of treatment you realise, well, it’s such a good idea. I thought the least I could do is offer some sort of support. I’m in a position where I can afford to do that, so I thought why not?”
Paul is now a regular giver at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. He hopes that his contribution can be used to fund more research about cancer, and advance our understanding of the disease so that more people can be cured.