Battle for Bruce.

My incredible uncle Bruce has just been through another round of life changing cancer surgery. If you could read his story below and possibly share with your friends we would be massively grateful. Every little donation helps towards paying for the equipment Bruce requires and the ongoing medical treatment which is not fully funded by our health system.

I'll be doing my part by shaving off my massively brilliant beard to raise funds for his recovery.

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My aunty Liz sums up his journey so far below:

Since 2013 Bruce has had several operations for aggressive and invasive skin cancer. These operations have involved removal of areas of bone and tissue requiring very painful grafts and follow up chemotherapy and radiation. All have proven successful and after each period of recovery he has been able to return to his work and a very full life. He has always said ‘our thoughts define us, thoughts become things, choose the good ones’.

Earlier this year Bruce was again diagnosed with further tumors involving the base of his tongue and glands on the right side of his neck. These tumors progressed rapidly until at the beginning of June, he was left with only one option, major life-changing surgery.

Bruce has dedicated his life to working with some of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in society in his career that has seen him become well known and respected for his development of alcohol and drug and mental health programs in prisons and in the community across New Zealand, Australia, and Indonesia. He is a passionate exponent of ‘everyone deserves a chance’ and is much loved for his compassion and patience in working with addicts and their families.

Now he is having to fight for his own life.

On the 27th of June, Bruce had radical surgery which involved total removal of his tongue, voice box, and glands in his neck. He now breathes from a stoma in his neck and takes food through a feed tube. The hope was that Bruce would be able to take food by mouth but this has proven not an option so in the next weeks a PEG line will be surgically inserted into his stomach.

Bruce is determined to return to active life and continue his work in mental health and addiction. He is amazingly strong and positive. While he may not have the possibility of spoken words he says ‘everything else is in working order’ and he is investigating new technologies that use text - to - voice and computer programs that learn how to predict what he is wanting to say. His recovery will be slow and there are still many hurdles to jump.

Because of previous radiation the healing is slower than normal and he has to learn a new way of living life. This will require a lot of support from his partner and family.

Bruce and his partner Yusri were married just one year ago. The wedding was an amazing celebration of two people wanting to spend the rest of their lives together. Within this short time we have realized that we need to reach out and rely on our support network of family and friends and the kindness of those who hear this story to step up and do what they can to support, no matter how little or big, to help.

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I have setup this page with the goal of raising $3000 to contribute to his recovery. 

At the end of November I will knock back this bushy facial hair and will once again be looking like a school boy. The shave will be happening at Alibabas Barbershop in Wanaka on Thursday the 30th of November.
(Donations are in AUD)

Thanks!

Donations

 See top
  • Danielle O'Connor 
    • $40 
    • 39 mos
  • Mad Arab 
    • $30 
    • 39 mos
  • Alibabas Wanaka 
    • $370 
    • 39 mos
  • Sergeant & Madame Mouse Haircutters Wanaka 
    • $70 
    • 39 mos
  • Tom Plunket 
    • $100 
    • 39 mos
See all

Organizer

Raymond Tiddy 
Organizer
Wanaka, Otago
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