CQ man’s third battle with cancer
Colin Burke was the fittest he'd ever been when he was first diagnosed with cancer.
The news came as a total shock to the then 57-year-old, when he was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2005.
"I've always played sport and I was swimming at the Australian titles at the time," Mr Burke said.
"I was probably the fittest I've ever been in my life and it just came out of the blue.
"I asked the surgeon 'why?' and he said I was just unlucky … it was sobering."
The cancer troubles did not stop there.
Mr Burke was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2015 and then lung cancer in 2020.
The 73-year-old, who has been a supporter of Cancer Council Queensland since 2005, joined many others for the organisation's 60th anniversary at the Gladstone Yacht Club on Friday.
Mr Burke, who often travels to Rockhampton for treatment, said Cancer Council was hugely vital for the Gladstone community.
"I approached Cancer Council for help on the second cancer to help with accommodation, I thought I could commute but I couldn't," Mr Burke said.
"I don't go a day in Rockhampton (Hospital) without seeing someone from Gladstone and I'm only there for an hour."
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Chris McMillan said Cancer Council provided a lot of services for people in regional Queensland.
"4000 people are diagnosed with cancer in this greater region each year," Ms McMillan said.
"People sometimes forget post treatment can leave side effects too and that's why our services like counselling, support services and support groups will not only help the individual but also their family.
"The cancer experience is not just an individual thing, it affects the family too."
Mr Burke said he was a huge advocate for Cancer Council Queensland's event Relay For Life.
"The best thing people could do to help out is join Relay For Life," he said.
"The money stays local and helps those in the community who really need it."
Gladstone's Relay For Life event is on July 24.
If you wanted to participate, click here to register.