Hannah Marshall, MAC Member for ACT and Southern NSW
I’m Hannah, I’m 20 years old, and I currently live in Canberra. I joined Canteen in 2009 when my Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 renal cell carcinoma, (kidney cancer for those of you fortunate enough not to understand cancer jargon). Dad’s diagnosis was over fairly quickly; he had surgery to remove one of his kidneys and the cancer that was in his abdomen. The surgery was successful, and without the main cancer the few lesions that were left were easy to get rid of. The six months or so this took went by in a whirlwind, so I wasn’t affected by the scare as much as I probably should have been. It wasn’t until a few years later (2012) when the cancer returned that I realized just how serious things were. Three years later and the cancer is still there; it’s moved into his lymph nodes and lungs, the positioning meaning surgery is impossible and with my Father’s age the alternative treatments would be too rough on his body. We take each day as it comes, and appreciate the little things.
Canteen has been such a support for me during all this, especially when I moved out of home. Being away from my family is hard as I don’t always know what’s happening with Dad’s health. By being on this team I hope to be able to help in moving CanTeen forward. It has helped me so much and I would really like to help even more young people in using this amazing service.