Andrew Dickson’s brother, Jim, is an East Gippsland local. He moved here a few years ago from northern Victoria with his wife, Jenni, and the couple is proud to call Metung home. Now Andrew says Jim needs everyone’s help.
“Jim has worked numerous part-time jobs, at Patties in Bairnsdale, the Woolworths servo in Lakes Entrance and the Bairnsdale Dairy,” Andrew said.
“Unfortunately, in October last year, all this came to a screaming halt when Jim was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer. The tumour is inoperable and so ever since he has been in a very real fight for his life.”
Andrew said despite early positive signs, nothing has been effective and Jim has exhausted all of the treatment options available here in Australia.
With the support of the Australian Government, Jim now leaves for the United States on July 14 for cutting edge Car-T therapy at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Centre in Boston.
“In simple terms, Jim qualified for this as it is his last and only option remaining. A last throw of the dice, if you will,” Andrew said.
July 14 also happens to be Jim’s birthday and travelling to the United States, from west to east, it will be his longest at around 40 hours in total.
Even with government support, out-of-pocket expenses in the United States could be anywhere between $50,000 and $150,000, with no guarantee the medical bills will stop when he gets back.
“Jim and Jenni have already exhausted most of their savings and so I have started a crowd funding campaign with the help of Rare Cancers Australia. People can donate to Jim’s cause at Rare Cancers Australia (follow the links through to Jim’s page),” Andrew said.
“Our target is $100,000 but this seems like a world away at the moment.
“The number of people in similar circumstances is just so long and raising much needed funds in a crowded charity market is tough.”
Unless, of course, you are a celebrity sports star.
“The phenomenal success of Israel Folau’s crowd funding campaign stands in stark contrast to the experience of so many charities and cancer sufferers, just like my brother,” Andrew said.
Australian rugby player, Israel Folau, launched a controversial appeal via crowd funding for financial assistance for his legal fight against a terminated multimillion-dollar contract with Rugby Australia.
“I’ve heard Samuel Johnson, of the Love Your Sister campaign, talk about his late sister, Connie, and the fact that cancer is just sh**, unfair and is a bitter pill to swallow,” Andrew said.
“I feel that the success of Israel Folau’s fundraising makes this pill just that much harder to keep down.”
Of course Jim’s story is not unique. A quick visit to the Rare Cancers Australia website illustrates that.
“But this situation is unique for him and for me,” Andrew said.
“If you can find it in your heart to lend a helping hand, please do so. Your help will make a world of difference to Jim and Jenni, two locals who call the Gippsland Lakes home.”
PICTURED: Metung’s Jim Dickson is heading to America this month to fight terminal cancer