Sandy finds strength to support others

sandySt John of God Murdoch Hospital volunteer caregiver and cancer survivor Sandy Sampson is on a mission to dispel the myth that lung cancer is only a smoker’s disease.

Since recovering from her own battle with cancer, Sandy has raised over $82,000 for lung cancer research and support over the past three years. She says anyone can get lung cancer, even those who have never smoked.

“Everyone with cancer, no matter which cancer it is, should have access to the necessary care and support,” Ms Sampson says.

“My continued survival is mainly due to early detection, successful surgery and the follow up care I received from cancer nurses and my family.”

Sandy was diagnosed with lung cancer in July 2011, when it was found she had carcinoid tumours in her chest and right lung. Surgery resulted in the loss of her right lung and she has had to learn how to breathe using only one lung.

“After overcoming the initial shock of the diagnosis, the trauma of surgery and recovery, I have been able to dedicate my time to raising funds for people who find themselves on similar journeys,” Ms Sampson says.

Sandy recently attended a reception at Admiralty House in Sydney, hosted by the Governor General Sir Peter and Lady Cosgrove in support of the Lung Foundation Network Australia.

Her dedication to the cause was acknowledged in early April when the Lung Foundation Australia recognised her fundraising efforts with a Lifetime Achievement award at a ceremony in Perth.

Volunteer Coordinator at the hospital Helen Jackson says Sandy makes an amazing contribution to St John of God Murdoch Hospital’s Cancer Centre, providing tea, sandwiches and comfort to patients.

“Sandy knows what the patients are going through, and knows when they feel like chatting, as well as when to listen,” Ms Jackson says.

“She is committed to raising awareness about cancers that don’t get publicity and getting patients the support they deserve.”

For more information about the Cancer Centre, please contact:
Tel: (08) 9428 8551
Email: Murdoch.Cancer.Reception@sjog.org.au
Fax: (08) 9428 8799

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