Simon Troth and Craig Mulhall dress up for the musical theme at Bundaberg's Relay for Life.
Simon Troth and Craig Mulhall dress up for the musical theme at Bundaberg's Relay for Life. Brian Cassidy

'Freddie Mercurys' on why fighting cancer matters to them

A MEDICAL oncologist dressed as Freddie Mercury to show his support for patients walking at Bundaberg Relay for Life.

Dr Craig Mulhall walked in a flamboyant yellow jacket and a painted moustache along with his team, the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service, taking on the musical theme by dressing as Queen's legendary frontman.

"I've professionally and personally seen a lot of patients on their cancer journey, whether they've had a good outcome with a good cure, or cancer has claimed their life," Dr Mulhall said.

"I've been there for a lot of them from beginning to the end.

"All the patients marching as survivors are people I've known, so it's good to represent the health and hospital service, and to give my part as an individual."

He was affected by the cases he had seen like with any doctor.

"You don't become a doctor, I don't think, unless you've got some altruistic bent that makes you want to help other people.

"Cancer is that kind of stigma that puts it at the forefront of everybody's minds with conditions they don't want to have.

"I've dedicated my career and my life to it at this point in time.

"Hopefully I can keep doing it for a long time."

Cancer impacted families, particularly young ones, but it was this negative aspect that made him want to do more, such as fund-raise at events such as Relay for Life.

Also dressed as Freddie Mercury was the hospital service's genetic counsellor Simon Troth, who said Relay for Life was important because it showed cancer sufferers that they had a supportive community who understood them.

"By talking about it you at least hopefully ease some of the burden, of educating, and people know they aren't alone," Mr Troth said.

"So often with a diagnosis people do feel a sense of being alone and not knowing where to reach others, but events like this show there are places and people can reach out and talk to, and obtain information about their journey."