TWO doctors have taken the rare step of speaking out in praise of a regular column written by former Byron Shire News editor Digby Hildreth.
Digby began writing his column, Topic of Cancer, shortly after he was diagnosed with cancer and has followed his ups and downs as he fought the disease.
The column, which is ongoing, is an honest and frank appraisal of Digby's battle with cancer and his close look into the face of death before ultimately confounding the disease.
Ballina GP Christopher Jambor this week wrote in to acknowledge the column.
"You have been inspirational and given hope to so many cancer sufferers and indeed those without cancer," Dr Jambor wrote.
Another Ballina GP, Chris McKenzie, also wrote in this week to "to publicly acknowledge Digby Hildreth's courage and conviction in his weekly column".
"I have been captivated by Digby's candour and courage and have been able to tell my patients in similar circumstance to read Digby's column as an example of a man staring down the odds and harnessing whatever forces he can muster to choose life," Dr McKenzie wrote.
You can see both letters in full below.
Dr Jambor's letter
RE: Digby Hildreth's column Topic of Cancer:
I have been following your story and I congratulate you for so courageously sharing your intimate experiences and feelings and progress so publicly, openly and honestly. You have been inspirational and given hope to so many cancer sufferers and indeed those without cancer!
I completely understand your scepticism (cynicism?) at "mainstream medics...inclination to hear about alternative approaches to health." That thinking is progressively changing. In this next generation of young doctors we are trying to teach (and they are embracing) the holistic approach to the person (not the disease), and to be open minded to thinking of, and accepting, options "outside the square".
Even though your article is so bravely public and published for all to see, I would still seek your permission to cut it out of the paper and post it to the doctors at the Liver Unit at the Princess Alexandra Hospital (just in case they don't subscribe to The Northern Star!). Your story will give the medical team some new insight that they may not have.
They then could offer that as part of their suite of therapy alternatives. And, if just one cancer sufferer overcomes (as you have overcome) as a result, what a fantastic, wonderful gift it would be.
Christopher Jambor, GP,
Dr McKenzie's column
I ALSO (as Dr Jambor has done) would like to publicly acknowledge Digby Hildreth's courage and conviction in his weekly column, sharing with us the trials and tribulations of living with a cancer diagnosis, especially one with a dim prognosis as related to him by his Specialist Medical Advisors.
I have been captivated by Digby's candour and courage and have been able to tell my patients in similar circumstance to read Digby's column as an example of a man staring down the odds and harnessing whatever forces he can muster to choose life.
A brave man indeed prepared to share his journey thus helping many other people on the way.
Dr Chris McKenzie GP,
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