RAY OF HOPE: Hope Horizons Cancer Wellness Centre committee vice-chairman Peter Turnbull checks out the free service's latest pamphlets with regular clients Dan McCabe and Bronwyn Jones.
RAY OF HOPE: Hope Horizons Cancer Wellness Centre committee vice-chairman Peter Turnbull checks out the free service's latest pamphlets with regular clients Dan McCabe and Bronwyn Jones.

Hope on the horizon for those living with cancer

DESPITE being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, Dan McCabe reckons if he wrote a book, he'd title it "It could be worse".

One of the major factors behind his positive attitude, he said, is the support and services he receives at Hope Horizons Cancer Wellness Centre.

"A week after my diagnosis, I was not in a happy place, but they are a tremendous organisation; I can't speak too highly of them," he said.

Regardless of age, sex or type of cancer, Hope Horizons offers its services and support to residents of Toowoomba and surrounds who are diagnosed with cancer, their carers and families, with no out-of-pocket expenses.

The aim is simply to make life a little easier for people at such a difficult time.

For Dan, that includes exercise physiology (light training), oncology massage and reflexology, as well as access to the centre's information library.

It was in one of the centre's books that he picked up his mind-over-matter approach to the disease from a cancer specialist who said the major factors to patients responding and staying positive were to "live well, love well and laugh well".

"Hope Horizons has helped me to achieve that," Dan said.

However, the number of men who take advantage of any of Hope Horizons services is relatively small - something Hope Horizons committee vice-chairman Peter Turnbull wants to change.

The light exercise training, at 10.30am Mondays at Complete Body Health and Fitness in Water St, is a relatively new service for the centre.

Other services offered include psychology and counselling, physiotherapy, tai chi, yoga, dietary advice, financial and legal help, and emotional and educational support.

Peter said after 18 months, the centre had 120 registered clients at various stages of "their cancer journey", about 70 of whom attended regularly two to three times a week.

Relaxation through oncology massage and psychology counselling were two of the most popular services he said, with cancer diagnosis "a big hit to both the patient and their family".

"Every single person is a volunteer, no one is on the payroll, and it is all community-based. Every cent stays here to help residents in the region," Peter said.

Services are completely free for clients, with only Medicare subsidies used, and Hope Horizons paying the gap, or a negotiated fee for non-Medicare services.

Hope Horizons is at 146 Drayton Rd, Harristown. Info: 0746366108, go to hopehorizons.com.au or, to lend a hand, contact the Friends of Hope Horizons, email friendsofhopehorizons@

gmail.com.


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