A sold-out fundraiser at the Brass Monkey on December 7 showcased a massive outpouring of support for Cronulla's Ted Thomson, who is battling aggressive cancer.
Mr Thomson was diagnosed with a rare salivary duct carcinoma at the end of 2022. The condition is often diagnosed in its late stage, and is frequently seen in men aged older than 50 years.
By the time he was in surgery, there were three tumours in the side of his neck, and 48 lymph nodes were cancerous. Six weeks of daily chemotherapy and radiation followed, but the diseases had spread to his brain. In April, he had two tumours the size of 50 cent pieces. "When I was told it had come back, they gave me two to three weeks," he said.
But it's quality not certain longevity Mr Thomson, 57, is putting his bets on, and is hopeful however, to get into one of a few free treatment trials. "There's not much I can do but there is a trial where patients have seen a 50 cent reduction in tumours," he said. "The treatment typically costs from $7000 to $12000 per round - every three weeks."
It's a far cry from the community work Mr Thomson was doing before his diagnosis. Five years ago, he co-set-up an international NGO that helps refugees and asylum seekers across Australia. He also has supported homeless children and spent a year volunteering with the Mongolian Government on child protection in domestic violence.
Money raised from the fundraiser, which is still ongoing, will go towards his treatment and medical bills. There also to support the cause was Cronulla Sharks player Toby Rudolph, who auctioned a signed jersey.
"The amount of love that has poured out to me is completely overwhelming," Mr Thomson said.
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