In 2017, Scott was working as a successful chef in Mount Gambier when his life was turned upside down. He had been feeling off and was having headaches that wouldn’t go away. His mood kept swinging wildly and he couldn’t explain it.
“It was six months before I found a doctor who took me seriously and ordered a scan. Only 60 minutes after I got the scan results, I realised that I had to leave home for emergency brain surgery,” he said.
The scan showed that Scott had a tumour the size of a grapefruit growing on his frontal lobe. He was rushed to Adelaide for emergency surgery to save his life. His mum Dee said it was the scariest time of their life.
“We didn’t realise until after we left Mount Gambier the importance of the familiarity of home. We had to accept that the best treatment outcomes were in Adelaide, hundreds of kilometres away. Scott had to leave behind everything he held dear—his home, loved ones, friends, his community. At first, I didn’t know how we would survive,” she said.
The surgeons tried to remove the tumour along with a quarter of Scott’s brain. While the surgery went well, unfortunately, they couldn’t remove it all, with the next MRI delivering more devastating news.
The tumour was growing, and fast. It was also inoperable.
Scott was rushed back to Adelaide to start intensive chemotherapy and radiation treatment immediately.
“Suddenly there was renewed fear that I would lose him. That Scott wouldn’t be able to pursue his career, get married… I wouldn’t be able to hold his children, my grandchildren, in my arms one day. The pain was simply unbelievable,” Dee said.
Scott said that being away from home, away from loved ones, away from everyone and everything he needed at a frightening and stressful time, was really tough.
“The last thing I wanted to think about was where I was going to stay, how I would get to the hospital and where my next meal was coming from. All I was thinking about—all I wanted to think about—was whether I was going to survive. Luckily, thanks to Cancer Council SA, I got the support I needed,” he said.
Scott was able to stay at Cancer Council SA’s Greenhill Lodge for eight weeks while he went through gruelling chemotherapy. He credits support from Cancer Council SA for helping to save his life.
“I didn’t know what I would find at Cancer Council SA’s supported accommodation. But not only did I find care, compassion, and support there. I found a home,” he said.
“The way they treat everyone and care so much at the Lodge really did make such a difference. They drove me to treatment, cooked meals for me, and made sure I had someone to talk to. They helped me learn to take every day as it came and try and stay positive.”
Today, Scott is doing well and earlier this year, married the love of his life Jess and became a stepdad to two beautiful children.
Together with his mum Dee, he is now sharing his story to help others and raise funds for Cancer Council SA’s supported accommodation.
Cancer Council SA Chief Executive Kerry Rowlands says that stories like Scott’s are the motivation behind Cancer Council’s new, integrated cancer building at 202 Greenhill Road.
“Cancer Council SA’s Lodges are loved by so many country people like Scott and Dee. Hundreds of regional South Australians have stayed there over the years. But the lodges are ageing and are at the end of their useful life. They need an upgrade so that regional South Australians can have a home away from home for generations to come,” she said.
“That’s why we’re building our new building on Greenhill Road. For country South Australians who have travelled hundreds of kilometres to Adelaide for cancer treatment, separated from family and friends, there will be 120 rooms of comfortable, modern accommodation, alongside our research, prevention and support services all under one roof.”
“This project is only possible because of the generous support of the South Australian community, which is why this tax time, we’re urging the community to make a donation and support their fellow South Aussies like Scott when they need it most.”
For more information on Cancer Council SA’s Tax Appeal and to make a donation visit via the website.
For more information on Cancer Council SA’s new, integrated cancer building visit 202greenhill.com.au.