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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 7:19 am 
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Hugo Chavez looks to God as cancer clouds future

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has spent much of his career praising the socialist ideas of famed atheists such as Karl Marx and Fidel Castro. Now in the thick of a prolonged battle against cancer, however, the leftist leader is drawing inspiration from a spiritual leader: Jesus Christ.

Chavez has been praying for divine intervention during increasingly infrequent appearances on television, holding up a crucifix while vowing to overcome his illness. He says living with cancer has made him “more Christian,” talk that has spurred speculation that cancer might cut short his bid for re-election in October.

Chavez’s voice cracked with emotion as he bade farewell to aides and supporters in Caracas on April 30 before leaving for what he said would be his final round of cancer treatment in Cuba.

“I’m sure our Christ will do it again, continuing making the miracle,” Chavez said as he raised his cross to his lips and kissed it, prompting applause from an audience of aides.

If Chavez survives cancer, political analysts say his increasing religiosity could pay election-year dividends in a country where Catholicism remains influential.

“Given that he cannot hide the illness, but he can hide its characteristics and danger, he’s decided to take as much advantage of it as he can, and one advantage is the symbolic and religious issue,” said Luis Vicente Leon, a Venezuelan pollster and analyst. “He’ll present himself as the chosen one, the man who has been cured and healed by the Lord to continue governing the country.”

The president has alternated between emotional fragility and optimism in public, mentioning God and Jesus nearly every time he shows up on TV.

Chavez shed tears last month during a televised Mass with relatives in Venezuela, when he prayed aloud to Jesus to “give me life.”

In a later appearance in Cuba, Chavez held up the same crucifix that he said helped deliver him from one of his darkest moments, a 2002 coup that briefly deposed him. He returned to the presidency within two days.

“I have great faith in what we’re doing, in this intense undertaking against the illness that ambushed me last year, and I have faith, I repeat, in God,” said Chavez, who looked pale and bloated.

“It’s like a pact with God, with Christ my Lord,” Chavez said. “I’m sure he will lay on a hand so that this treatment, which we’re rigorously following, will have supreme success.”

Chavez’s religiosity contrasts with the resolute secularism of his political father figure, Castro, and other leaders who have followed the socialist path Chavez lauds.

A large majority of Venezuelans practice Catholicism, and Protestant denominations have grown rapidly in some parts of the country. Many Venezuelans also practice folk religions and leave offerings at roadside shrines.

Mixing religion and politics isn’t new in Venezuela, even if religious groups generally don’t get directly involved in politics. Former President Luis Herrera characterized himself as spiritually pure and promoted social programs for the poor while leading his Copei Social Christian party.

Other Latin American leaders have employed religious symbols while seeking votes.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega highlighted his Christian faith during his re-election bid last year, when his campaign rallies were accompanied by religious processions, chants and the campaign slogan “Christian, Socialist and In Solidarity.” Ortega’s campaign strategy dismayed Catholic Church leaders, who called his use of spirituality part of a ploy to deceive voters.

Chavez describes himself as Catholic, but his religious beliefs are eclectic. He has at times also expressed faith in folk deities such as Maria Lionza, an indigenous goddess venerated by some Venezuelans who pay homage through candlelit rituals and shrines.

Despite the recent shows of faith, the president has had a rocky relationship with Catholic leaders. He has accused priests of siding with the country’s wealthy rather than the poor and in a particularly heated clash in 2010, suggested that Christ would whip some church leaders for lying after Cardinal Jorge Urosa warned that democratic freedoms were being eroded in Venezuela.

Chavez insists his faith goes back to his days as an altar boy, and long before his illness, he was calling Jesus Christ “the greatest socialist in history.”

Still, his increasing appeals for help from Christ have shown supporters a vulnerable side to a leader who for more than 13 years in office has projected power and vigor.

“We’d forgotten for so long that Chavez is simply a man like any other, a man of flesh and blood,” said Florencia Mijares, an office worker who prayed for the president at a Caracas church. “For many Venezuelans, Chavez is a savior who arrived to help everybody else and now he’s the one who needs help, and many of us fear all will be lost if he dies.”

Chavez has been receiving radiation therapy in Cuba over the past week, the latest phase in treatments that since June have included chemotherapy and two surgeries that removed tumors from his pelvic region, though he has not said what sort of cancer he has.

Chavez hasn’t appeared on television since leaving Venezuela, instead communicating with supporters through Twitter messages.

Despite the long absences, Chavez has been leading opposition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles by double digits in recent polls.

Some of his supporters said they see Chavez’s increased devotion as a natural evolution for a president in a dire situation.

As soon as Chavez revealed he had a tumor removed last year, a pro-Chavez group called the Council of Christian Public Employees organized dozens of prayer meetings across the country, several of which were broadcast live on state television and Christian radio stations.

“The president could have decided to distance himself from God or not believed in him due what he was going through,” said Linda Aguirre, the organization’s president. “I thank God that he’s chosen the most important decision of his life: to embrace our Lord.”

Indian shamans wearing parrot feathers and beads also held a healing ritual for Chavez at a Caracas plaza last month, performing traditional dances and chants, and kneeling on the ground in prayer.

“The objective is to inject the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution with positive energy,” said Jesus Antonio Juagivioy, a chieftain from the president’s home state of Barinas who participated in the ceremony. “We pray for his total recuperation and we know the spirits of our ancestors will help.”

http://www.longislandpress.com/2012/05/ ... ds-future/


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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2012 7:45 am 
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Henderson talks hockey, cancer and faith

LONDON, ONT. - Paul Henderson scored the biggest goal in Canadian hockey history.

His last minute goal against the Soviet Union in 1972 gave Canada a victory in the first series between the two teams. The series engaged a nation and made Henderson an instant superstar. It was the ultimate Canadian sports where-were-you moment.

On Thursday Henderson stood before almost 700 people at the London Christian Prayer Breakfast. It was a room full of people who actually remembered watching Henderson score. Henderson seized the opportunity to weave the history he is most known for, with the history he wants to be remembered for.

The goal made Henderson a hockey superstar in Canada. Many of the 700 people also came to see the Christian superstar.

Henderson spoke for almost 25 minutes on his faith, his becoming a Christian and how it has changed his life.

Not even cancer has made Henderson question that faith.

Henderson has lymphocytic lymphoma chronic leukemia. It's a slow moving cancer that was first diagnosed in November 2009.

"I'm full of cancer now," Henderson said. "I'm probably headed for chemotherapy very soon. As you can see, some of the lymph nodes are starting to get pretty big and I have some sizeable growths in my stomach . . . I wasn't looking to be the poster boy for cancer. My philosophy, don't let cancer ruin your life. You get up every day and use what you have and what time you have left."

Henderson didn't only score the winning goal in the last game, although that's what he's remembered for, he also scored the winning goal in the previous two games. He was the toast of a country. But there was something missing. The fame took over his life but he didn't handle it well. Fame is what most hockey players crave but Henderson was troubled by it.

"I had no spiritual dimension. Religion didn't do anything for me," Henderson said.

It took a mentor in 1972-73 to turn Henderson's life around. It was Mel Stevenson, a man who knocked on Henderson's door and wanted Henderson to do a hockey school with him.

"I asked him what did it pay," Henderson said. "Mel said, 'it's a Christian camp. We don't pay anything.'"

And with that Henderson's road to Christ began.

"He told me that I didn't seem satisfied, that I always looked on edge,' Henderson said. "No one told me that before."

It took two years for Henderson to be convinced there was a God.

"I always thought Christians were the weak people. When you can't make it in life then you have to ask God. I really prided myself on being a self-made man."

He became a Christian in 1975 and was determined to become a "Godly change agent." For the last 29 years he has been mentoring other men looking to understand Christianity.

Henderson says "there is no wrinkle-free life." His faith has helped him through health issues that almost took his wife Eleanor's wife and helps him get through his battle with cancer.

"It took me two years but I had all my questions answered and I haven't taken a step back since," Henderson said.

It wasn't easy showing your Christian side in professional hockey back when Henderson was playing.

"It's a lot easier now," Henderson said. "There are a lot of high profile Christians, Mike Gartner, Mark Osborne, Laurie Boschman, Ronnie Ellis, Mike Fisher today. There are lots of guys who are very, very strong. Now there are chapels (in the rinks.) We never had any chapels. Most NHL teams including the Leafs, have a chapel."

Henderson estimates he knows 28 or 30 high-profile Christian NHLers now.

Despite his illness Henderson says he has no plans to retire from mentoring men.

"I'm going to die someday. Everyone is going to die someday," Henderson continued. "I'm 69 and can't think of anyone who is more fortunate than myself. The bible says not to worry so I don't. I just get up in the morning and ask God for help to get through the day. If tomorrow shows up then I'll take the same shot tomorrow."

In the ultimate statement Henderson alludes to the peace his faith has brought him.

"Right now, I would not trade places with anyone in this world," he said.

Excerpts from Paul Henderson's speech On his 1972 goal: "I enjoy speaking to an older crowd. At least some of you were alive in 1972 when I scored the goal. Now I go to schools and kids say, 'who is that old goat?'"

On the sweater he wore in 1972: "If you have any gets that ever get to the NHL, play in a big series and score a big goal, tell them not to give their sweater away. I had an excuse. I had six concussions." The sweater sold for $1.27 million.

On former Leaf owner Harold Ballard: "I left for the WHA to get away from Harold Ballard. It was one of the best moves I ever made . . . But after I became a Christian I sent him a letter of apology for all the bad things I said and thought of him." Henderson got no response but harbours "no bitterness or anger."

On his diagnosis with cancer: "It was just a punch in the stomach . . . But never had angst or fear about this. Am I looking forward to dying, no not really? Is it worsening . . . yes. But when you have hope and peace, you can handle anything."

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/05/10/he ... -and-faith


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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2012 7:27 am 
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Yahoo's Thompson reportedly has cancer

The Yahoo CEO who was pressured to give up his post because his official biography included a college degree he never received reportedly has thyroid cancer.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people it did not identify, says Scott Thompson told Yahoo's board and several colleagues of his condition before resigning from his role.

The newspaper says it was told by one source that Thompson's decision to resign was partly influenced by his cancer diagnosis.

Thompson was hired as Yahoo's CEO in January after Carol Bartz's firing.

Yahoo Inc has named Ross Levinsohn as its interim CEO. Levinsohn ran internet services within Rupert Murdoch's media empire at News Corp before Bartz hired him in November 2010.

Yahoo's stock gained 33 cents, or 2.2 per cent, to $US15.52 ($A15.55) in pre-market trading on Monday.

http://www.skynews.com.au/businessnews/ ... 50306&vId=


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 8:05 am 
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In Venezuela, top diplomat steps into the void while cancer forces lower profile for Chavez

CARACAS, Venezuela — After nearly a year of cancer treatment that has forced President Hugo Chavez to step back from the spotlight, a burly former bus driver with a dark mustache and affable smile is emerging more than ever as the president’s stand-in.

In recent weeks, Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro has led news conferences, touted a new labor law and criticized the U.S. government with gusto. He even rallied a crowd of supporters while wearing a track suit emblazoned with the yellow, blue and red of Venezuela’s flag, just like one Chavez sometimes wears.

Personal Post Maduro’s prominence is generating speculation that he could be a leading candidate to succeed the president, or at least represent him during grueling campaign events, if Chavez’s health fails ahead of Venezuela’s Oct. 7 presidential election.

Chavez has built his 13-year-old presidency around his own larger-than-life persona and hasn’t anointed a successor, instead pledging to recover from cancer treatment and once again return to the front line of his campaign. Nonetheless, Maduro’s role as government spokesman has grown in the past month, and his regular appearances at Chavez’s side have many thinking he has received the presidential nod.

“I think the best-trained politician Chavez has is Nicolas Maduro,” said former diplomat Vladimir Villegas, a journalist who hosts a Venezuelan radio program.

Villegas said Maduro seems to outshine Vice President Elias Jaua with his experience on the international stage, his ties to labor groups and his close relationship with Cuba’s government. Maduro has been the country’s top diplomat since 2006.

Speaking with confidence, Maduro took to championing a newly approved labor law before government supporters earlier this month, while the president was receiving cancer treatment in Cuba.

“With our commander Chavez, today Venezuela is at the vanguard, ahead in the fight for a new humankind, for another humankind, for a new world,” Maduro said. “That world is being built here, and that world has one single name: socialism of the 21st century.”

While heaping praise on Maduro, the president likes to note that critics once derided his foreign minister as a simpleton because of his working-class roots, which included a stint as a union leader for workers in the Caracas Metro subway system.

Chavez’s close friendship with Maduro goes back to the 1980s, when the leftist president was an army officer and formed a clandestine movement that eventually carried out a failed coup attempt in 1992.

In his youth, Maduro belonged to a small political group called the Socialist League and traveled to Cuba for training in union organizing. To this day, Maduro is considered by some observers the aide with the closest links to the Cuban government within Chavez’s inner circle.

Maduro has such a close relationship with Chavez that he seems to know how the president comes down on just about any issue. At the same time, he has proved adept at speaking on Chavez’s behalf without getting ahead of his boss’ public statements. Chavez likes to joke with Maduro that he eats excessively, quipping that the foreign minister should cut back on the submarine sandwiches that he likes to devour.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the ... story.html


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 7:33 am 
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Crowded House drummer Peter Jones dies after battle with brain cancer

CROWDED House drummer Peter Jones has lost a battle with brain cancer.

Jones joined the band after founding drummer Paul Hester quit Crowded House in 1994.

Jones, a former school teacher, passed away on Friday.

A statement from Crowded House said: "We are in mourning today for the death of Peter Jones. We remember him as a warm hearted, funny and talented man, who was a valuable member of Crowded House.

"He played with style and spirit. We salute him and send our love and best thoughts to his family and friends.''

Hester, who had suffered depression, took his own life in 2005.

Crowded House, fronted by Neil Finn, conquered with hits including Don't Dream It's Over and Better Be Home Soon.

http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/mu ... z1vLzGzJi4


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 5:53 am 
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Kylie Minogue carries cancer scars

Kylie Minogue feels 'like a cat with several lives' after successfully beating cancer.

The 43-year-old singer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and while she successfully fought the illness, the music star still feels 'incredible anger' and possesses 'moral and physical' scars from the traumatic life experience.

She said: 'I feel like a cat, having had several lives. In my career as in my personal life, I made enough bad decisions to land me in deep water. Finally, I haven't got out too badly.

'Over time, people have a tendency to forget about it.

'Not me. A day does not go by without me thinking about it. Just looking in a mirror is enough - the scars are moral and physical.

'There are days when I feel an incredible anger, others when I say that I was very lucky in my misfortune.

'I always try to present an optimistic picture. At first, I look very open, but basically, I'm pretty reserved. I knew I was strong, I was fortunate to be surrounded by people who really loved me.'

Kylie - who split with Olivier Martinez in 2007 - is currently dating Spanish model Andres Velencoso and while the blonde beauty doesn't believe marriage is 'the be all and end all', she is 'very much in love' with the 34-year-old hunk.

Speaking to Paris Match magazine, she added: 'Love is hard work. I have never believed that marriage was the be all and end all.

'There are people who think that a beautiful story will last a lifetime. I tell myself it will last as long as it lasts, I'm less disappointed.

'I'm wiser, more tolerant, less demanding. I am very happy today because Andres totally respects who I am. If I'm looking resplendent or I wake up haggard, it is the same.

'And when I go into a spin for no reason, when I feel totally clueless, I ask myself a thousand questions, 'Who I am, what I want, where I'm going?' He is there.

'I am cured and very much in love - it helps! Andres is handsome, friendly and also very easy going.'

http://www.skynews.com.au/showbiz/artic ... 53809&vId=


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2012 7:54 am 
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Shaun Wilson-Miller dies weeks after winning hearts on YouTube

COURAGEOUS teenage schoolboy Shaun Wilson-Miller has passed away.

Shaun, 17, lost his fight only weeks after announcing on YouTube he had suffered chronic heart rejection adding: "I won't be here for as long as I thought.''

He died earlier today after a second heart transplant failed.

His brave words, meant for only family and friends, went viral and caused an outpouring of love and support.

It has been watched by 1.5 million people worldwide.

"This has been an awesome ride,'' Shaun said in the video. "I have no regrets. Live life to the fullest because you never know what's going to happen.''

In his final weeks, Sean filmed role on Neighbours and met his footy hero Essendon captain Jobe Watson.

He had also found love with a fellow heart patient.

Shaun sighed: "The hardest thing for me is leaving her, knowing that I won't get to marry her. To have kids together. To grow old together. That is what makes me sad.''

Friends and family wrote their condolences on the Facebook page of Shaun's father, Cameron Miller, and mother, Sally Devers.

"You showed so much courage for so long,'' said one message. "Fly high sweet angel.''

Cameron Miller told the Herald Sun two weeks ago: "I question why this beautiful person would be taken away from me, from his family and from the world. But Shaun doesn't want me to cry.

"He needs to know I'm going to be OK, so I go on.''

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/more-n ... 6367826739


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 7:37 am 
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Sheryl Crow diagnosed with benign brain tumor

Sheryl Crow has revealed she has a benign brain tumor, which the singer's representative downplayed as a common type requiring no treatment.

Known as a meningioma -- a tumor in the meninges, the membranes surrounding the brain -- it can produce no symptoms and is typically noncancerous.

"Half of us are walking around with [meningiomas], but you don't really know unless you happen to have an MRI," Crow's spokeswoman told E! News. "Crow has no symptoms and everything is fine. It was a random mention . . . not meant to alarm anyone. She is doing great and is healthy and happy."

In an interview on Friday published Tuesday, the nine-time Grammy winner told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "In November, I found out I have a brain tumor. But it's benign, so I don't have to worry about it. But it gives me a fit." It was discovered, she said, because "I worried about my memory so much that I went and got an MRI. And I found out I have a brain tumor."

Crow went on to explain that a month ago, she forgot part of "Soak Up the Sun" onstage in Florida and told the audience, "I'm 50, what can I say? My brain's gone to ---- ."

In February 2006, three weeks after her breakup with fiance Lance Armstrong, Crow was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent what she called at the time a "minimally invasive" lumpectomy to remove the malignant tumors. She also underwent radiation therapy as a precaution.

Crow, who lives in Nashville with her two sons, told the Review-Journal she is working on an album she hopes to have out by October. She also said she is working with director Barry Levinson on a stage-musical adaptation of his 1982 film "Diner."

http://www.newsday.com/entertainment/ce ... -1.3763828


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:03 am 
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Health crisis: she'll be right

THE AUSTRALIAN health system has been geared towards women at the expense of men's well-being, according to a health expert.

University of Western Sydney director of men's health, Professor John Macdonald, used Men's Health Week as an opportunity to challenge the status quo allowing men to fall between the cracks.

He said debate about men's health has for too long been dominated by the perception that males won't engage with the health system.

But Professor Macdonald said: ''It's too simple to just say blokes don't go to the doctor, blokes don't speak about their health, blokes don't look after themselves.

''Sorry, but that's not true. It is true that men are dying younger than women and people look for an explanation and try to blame blokes. We shouldn't just be saying men should do things, when society also has to do things.''

Professor Macdonald said it's time Australian health services reached out to men. He said the health system routinely courts the fairer sex, so it's become normalised for women to be proactive.

''We live in a feminised world. Feminism has its place and women still get a rotten deal in many places,'' Professor Macdonald said. ''But that has led us to this position where we have lots of programs for women and children but we don't have any for men.''

The federal government released a National Male Health Policy in 2010, which calls on health providers to create male-friendly services. But Professor Macdonald said the health system still hasn't embraced the strategy.

He urged Canberrans to help force a change by asking health authorities how they are improving men's health. ''Ask GPs and community health services, 'national health policy says to be more male friendly, what are you doing to be more male friendly'.''

Demographer Bernard Salt said a man's life-cycle lacks the physical milestones obvious in a woman's development. It means men interact with the health system less and fall into a culture of delusion.

''Women are more compelled to seek health advice through their lives and there's a greater culture of addressing bodily issues, whereas men don't have those check-in points in life that force them to address the way their bodies are changing and as a consequence they prefer to set and forget,'' Mr Salt said.

He said men should take cues from women's cultural focus on risks associated with ageing. ''It's not a competition with women, it's something men need to learn from women. It's a cultural issue more than it's a medical issue.''

But the best form of healthcare was preventative, former Brumby and Wallaby Clyde Rathbone said.

Mr Rathbone owns and operates Health Futures, a business that runs health programs for business and government departments.

He said most health issues could be prevented through a healthy diet, exercise, regular sleep, sun exposure and social interaction.

''It's not rocket science, just do some simple things consistently,'' Mr Rathbone said. ''If you can tick all those boxes you will mitigate the majority of health problems.''

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/nationa ... z1xzLTNThQ


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:25 am 
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Newton-John opens cancer centre

OLIVIA Newton-John says she was inspired to lend her name to Melbourne's new cancer centre to ensure public hospital patients had the same quality treatment she had during her fight with the disease.

The Australian entertainment icon has spent the best part of a decade fundraising for the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre, which is attached to the Austin Hospital in the city's east.

Those efforts included a fundraising walk across the Great Wall of China and a duet with Jim Stynes at an AFL match.

She said today's opening of the centre was the culmination of the hard work of thousands and a dream come true.

"I know when you're going through cancer it's a pretty daunting thing to go through and (it helps) to be in a space that's a healing space with a lot of light, and know that there's support, not just with the wonderful treatments at the centre but in the program as well," she said.

The centre will combine cancer treatment, research and complementary therapies such as acupuncture, massage, music therapy and counselling.

Newton-John said the wellness program was an underrated component in the battle with cancer which began for her with a diagnosis in 1992.

"I know from my own experience," she said.

"I had to find it myself and go to different places or have them come to me.

"I was lucky I could do that but most people can't so that's why this is wonderful."

Austin Health Cancer Services medical director Jonathan Cebon said the centre would combine world-class research with the wellness centre to provide best-practice treatment.

"Through research we find cures and better ways to treat cancer, and through wellness programs we support patients and their families."

Three of the seven levels of the centre will open to the public on July 2, including the wellness centre and research laboratories, and radiation and day oncology.

Inpatient wards and a palliative care unit are due to open in mid-2013.

The centre received $189 million from a combination of state and federal government funding and private donations.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/br ... 6405481133


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:51 am 
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Kerri-Anne Kennerley is beating her cancer challenge with smiles and lots of great music

A BOTTLE of French champagne - pink, of course - is nestled in the chiller on Kerri-Anne Kennerley's sideboard and there's a crate or two cooling in the kitchen.

The post-op news is worth celebrating - the TV star has begun her fightback from breast cancer, dodged invasive chemotherapy and, now, is taking on the government for better breast care funding.

After "terrifying" surgery to remove two lumps and four lymph nodes at Sydney's Mater Hospital last week, Kennerley is preparing for six weeks of radiation therapy which could clear her of the killer disease.

Speaking for the first time since her double lumpectomy, the dynamic personality was back to her dazzling best, toasting the news with husband John by her side and counting her blessings at a prognosis even her doctors didn't expect.

Her cancer scare began less than a month ago when the Dancing With The Stars contestant was being fitted for a costume for a routine with partner Carmelo Pizzino and felt a lump in her right breast. Rushed to hospital for an immediate mammogram, Kennerley was numbed by the diagnosis - she had cancer.

Devastated but determined to "just keep walking", the karaoke queen downloaded a playlist of power ballads and pounded the pavement.

"Part of it was running away from the problem but I just had to physically do something," she said.

"Then music became so important and these songs had a connection to me. That was it for me, just keep walking - I could have walked to Melbourne virtually, if I hadn't stopped at some point and thought, 'Where the hell am I?'."

The soundtrack says everything about KAK's famous resilience, blasting Kelly Clarkson's new hit Stronger, Beyonce's Love On Top and Jack Vidgen's version of Lean On Me.

"The words became just so relevant: Lean on me, when you're not strong. You're just trying to find every portion of emotional, mental support you can grab," she said.

Among those offering support was Olivia Newton-John, in Australia to open her cancer wellness clinic, who sought Kennerley's phone number and has stayed in touch since.

O n the operating table last Wednesday about lunchtime, this fearless TV veteran admits fear had set in.

"You lie there looking up at that nuclear symbol above your head, the one you see in movies to show it's toxic, and you think, 'This can't be good'," she said.

Having told her doctors to do whatever was necessary, it was "the not knowing" that filled her with dread.

"I'm the same as every woman, this is not what you want for your body. I didn't want chemo and I didn't want to lose my breasts," she said.

Five days later, the biopsy results came back and the best possible outcome confirmed: it had been caught early, both lumps removed at grade two stage, with six weeks, five days a week, of radiation prescribed to mop up any noxious cells.

"You never know what to expect and when she said, 'I have some great news' I swear to God ... when they say you can physically feel the relief and the burden lift," she says as she slumps.

The second lump had been a surprise find on the morning of her surgery, when she underwent a MRI scan.

"It meant my doctor knew what to expect, could pinpoint what needed removing and I didn't have to lose my breast," she said.

The MRI cost $980, which she paid in full. The fact that essential diagnostic tool is not subsidised by the government makes this option unaffordable for some women. And Kennerley wants something done about it.

Offering her celebrity to her medical team, she has joined their lobbying to extend rebates for breast MRIs to cancer patients.

Breast Surgeons of Australia and New Zealand with the Breast Cancer Network Australia have reportedly written to Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, with no reply.

"I do not want the story to be about me, I want the story to be about what we can do in future to make it easier for every woman," she said.

"It should be here's my experience and what I've learned from it. What I've learned from it is if the government gives rebates on MRIs on breast cancer patients they will have a much better outcome and women may not lose their breasts.

"They wouldn't have had to have masectomies, their operations would have been planned better. I mean, hello? It's only logical."

An ambassador for cancer charity Look Good Feel Better, Kennerley thanked all who sent her good wishes.

"It buoys your spirit, so thank you to all those people I know and didn't know for being so unimaginably kind," she added.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/k ... 6412804403


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:28 am 
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'I feel dead inside

Donna Rasmussen says she has felt "dead inside" since the sudden death of her disabled teenage son in 2009.

Yesterday, a distraught Mrs Rasmussen told the Perth Coroner's Court her family had been torn apart by the death of her son, 15-year-old Vaughn, who died from brain swelling.

"I feel dead inside. I feel useless. I feel guilty I couldn't fight hard enough for him," she told the court.

"I'm just not the same person."

Vaughn, who was intellectually disabled and unable to speak, died on November 17, 2009, at Princess Margaret Hospital.

He was deemed brain dead after 35 centimetres of fluid built up in his skull – the normal level is between zero and 10 centimetres.

Mrs Rasmussen and her husband Richard say doctors at two Perth hospitals ignored their repeated requests for a CT scan on Vaughn. They believe medical negligence led to his death.

According to the Rasmussens, doctors at Fremantle and Princess Margaret hospitals continually refused to do the scan after Vaughn's first admission to Fremantle Hospital on November 12, 2009 - despite his history of neurological problems.

The couple told doctors it was their belief a shunt placed in Vaughn's head as a baby was blocked and causing fluid to build up in his skull.

However, they say doctors ignored their concerns because of Vaughn's disability and his inability to speak, treating them like they "knew nothing".

The Rasmussens took Vaughn to Fremantle Hospital's emergency department on August 12, 2009, after noticing he was feeling unwell and displaying signs of irritability, tiredness and vomiting.

Vaughn was admitted and the Rasmussens pleaded with doctors to complete a CT scan because his shunt had been blocked in 2002 and he had displayed similar symptoms.

They say doctors turned down their requests because it would expose Vaughn to too much radiation.

After two nights at Fremantle Hospital Vaughn was discharged, but the family was left with "no answer".

Then, upon his return home, Vaughn collapsed and his parents decided to "bypass" Fremantle Hospital and take their son to Princess Margaret Hospital. Again, their requests for a CT scan were denied.

The Rasmussen's went home but returned to Fremantle Hospital the following night when Vaughn's condition deteriorated. He was then rushed to the intensive care unit of PMH.

Mrs Rasmussen recalled how Vaughn's "lips turned blue and he stopped breathing" after a shot of morphine.

"I collapsed on the floor and screamed that they had killed my baby," she said.

It was at this point, four days after the Rasmussens had raised their initial concerns, that doctors examined Vaughn's shunt and discovered he had excessive fluid on his brain, the result of a blocked shunt valve.

She then described how at 4.30pm on November 16, 2009, doctors told the family Vaughn was brain dead and his condition was not conducive to life.

They made the decision to turn off his life support and said their final goodbyes at 3.30am on November 17.

"We never saw his eyes open again... If only one doctor had listened to us before he was admitted to PMH, we'd still have our baby with us," she said.

"Why did our son die?"

She said her once tight-knit family had been torn apart by Vaughn's death. Mrs Rasmussen, her husband and their eldest child, Caitlyn, all sought psychological care to cope with his loss.

"We still feel like we're sitting in ICU waiting for Vaughn to wake up," she said. "We still can't comprehend he's gone forever."

The inquest continues.

http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/i-fee ... 21rjg.html


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2012 5:32 am 
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HIV no longer means certain death

After David Polson was diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus in 1984, he was advised to get his affairs in order.

He was among the first people in Australia to be diagnosed with HIV, and, at that time, people diagnosed with the little-understood virus could expect to die within a decade.

But, at 57, Mr Polson is still here, living comfortably in his Potts Point flat and filling his time with public speaking engagements to educate the broader community about HIV.

''I was determined I wasn't going to die,'' he recalls. ''At that time, of course, it was a death sentence.

''But I just stayed very positive and surrounded myself with laughter and humour. It was probably a little naive but that was all I had. There was nothing, really, in terms of treatment.''

This October marks three decades since the first case of HIV was recorded in Sydney. The first death from AIDS occurred a few months later in July 1983 in Melbourne.

Andrew Carr, the director of the HIV, immunology and infectious diseases unit at St Vincent's Hospital, has spent the past 23 years at the hospital and observed a striking change in that time.

''I started work here in 1989 and it's a very different place now,'' he says. ''Up to 1996, we had 24 beds that were always full of sick and dying patients. Then, with the introduction of effective treatment, the wards emptied out and they are still relatively empty now.''

Just as new treatments have improved lifespans for people with HIV, community attitudes have also changed. While stigma towards people living with the virus still exists, it is certainly nothing like the mid-'80s when the Grim Reaper loomed large on our television screens and a three-year-old HIV positive Eve van Grafhorst was chased out of her central coast pre-school amid unfounded fears she would infect other children.

She was the first child in Australia to contract AIDS via a blood transfusion and died in New Zealand surrounded by family and friends.

http://www.parramattasun.com.au/news/na ... 24238.aspx


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:34 am 
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Nicole's cancer pledge to dad

SUPERMODEL Nicole Trunfio has relocated her father to be with her in New York in a bid to save his life from cancer.

The Merredin-born beauty has moved her 57-year-old father, Joe, to an apartment near her Manhattan home.

Trunfio said her dad was participating in a cancer trial, which she hopes would cure him.

"There is somebody here who recommended this clinical trial, which is happening in New York City right now," she said. "It's a new drug which they have developed. There are a bunch of people doing this trial."

Trunfio said WA doctors told her that her father's cancer was treatable, but not curable.

"When he was having chemotherapy he got really sad," she said. "It was hard seeing him like that.

"He said to me, 'Nicole, I don't want to be bedridden, to feel like I can't move - it's the worst feeling ever'.

"He was like, 'I'd rather go peacefully'. He was trying to be rational and I was like 'What? No you are not (dying). I am not living without you'.

"I can't imagine life without him. He is the most important person in my life.

"The way he raised me is the reason I am the person I am today."

Trunfio and her father have always had a special bond.

The 26-year-old has continually turned to him for advice.

When she moved to New York at 17 her father was worried about his daughter living alone overseas, but encouraged her to pursue her dreams.

Trunfio, one of the world's most sought-after models, cancelled her engagements and rushed home in December to be with her father, mother Kim and siblings, after he was diagnosed with having cancer in his appendix.

After removing the appendix, doctors discovered the cancer had spread to his liver, spleen and abdomen.

"He had three operations in a matter of months which took a big toll on him," Trunfio said. "I went home for Christmas and he looked like death. It was really scary.

"I decided to stay on for another two months after that to be with him. I tried to stay strong for him."

She said having her father in New York was a good chance to spend time with him after having lived away from home for nine years.

"Dad was funny," she said. "He said, 'I know why I got cancer Nicole. You have missed out on nine years of your life with us and I got cancer so I could come to New York and be with you'.

"Spending this time together is amazing. My mentality is that I am 100 per cent sure my dad will be cured.

"I am 100 per cent sure these people will help him.

"Right now, that's all I have got to hold on to."

http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/nicoles ... 6431626649


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:23 am 
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Health Centre denies targeting Cancer patients

The owner of a controversial north coast health centre says claims that it offers alternative cancer treatments are false.

Universal Medicine has a treatment centre at Goonellabah, and its website offers esoteric healing involving energy cells, which it says make up the human spirit.

But Serge Benhayon says practitioners do not target cancer patients.

"We don't involve ourselves in curing cancer or in the promotion of curing cancer at all," he said.

"The link between the esoteric massage, the breast massage and the curing of breast cancer is that it is completely a scurrilous lie coming from the print media.

"We have never made those claims and no woman can ever say that we've done that."

The Therapeutic Goods Administration is currently investigating supplements being sold by the group which have not been properly evaluated.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-24/s ... er/4151494


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