When Ben was 23 years old, he went to his doctor after having a serious of painful frequent headaches. His doctor was concerned and insisted he needed a brain scan. Tests soon revealed Ben had a malignant brain tumour that was four-centimetres wide. “I was bluntly told ‘You have cancer,’” he remembers.
After Ben received confirmation of his diagnosis, he underwent emergency brain surgery. The neurosurgeons removed 95% of his tumour. To treat the remaining 5%, Ben had 33 sessions of radiation in seven weeks, followed by six months of chemotherapy. During that time, he lost 30 kgs. “That was definitely the worst,” he says. “It just took life away from me, but I tried to stay as positive as possible. It made me realise all the small things I had taken for granted like going for walks to the park.”
At the start of his long stay in hospital Ben was given a Redkite Support Pack, co-funded by Dry July Foundation. The large red duffle bag contains information and practical essentials to help during treatment like a reusable cup, toiletries, socks and ear plugs. “It was comforting to know that there was support ready to be given to my family and I.”
After Ben left hospital, Redkite was on hand to help Ben maintain his independence and to give him support during his recovery. “My partner Emma and I had just moved into our first home together when I was diagnosed. Redkite provided a lot of mental and emotional support that really is priceless. It was helpful to speak with people who understood what we were going through.”
Ben is now in remission and has a follow-up scan every six months. Today, he strives to be the healthiest he can be. “When I was going through chemotherapy all I wanted was to be healthy, now I'm in remission and ready to start working. I’m very lucky that I still have the ability to walk and talk and live a somewhat normal life.”