For our much-loved Gaythorne local, Joshua Burgess, these past 6-12 months have been nothing short of a living nightmare, with much of his time spent in and out of medical chairs and hospital wards.
However, thanks to the support of many—namely, our generous community members—Josh is now travelling happily along his road to recovery!
Early 2020 was when Josh first noticed a rash on his forehead. After consulting doctor after dermatologist after doctor again, Josh was still unaware of the rash’s origins, as well as what it would soon lead to. It wasn’t until August that Josh was admitted to hospital with an unrelated bowel issue diverticulitis, which then led to CT scans that exposed a lymphoma growth. Following an additional biopsy, his surgeon’s suspicions were confirmed; Josh had cancer. Luckily, as far as cancers go, Josh’s diagnosis was one of the ‘good ones’, being follicular lymphoma, which is neither aggressive nor terminal.
After his first round of treatment in September, his formally stubborn rash vanished, and hope began to spark in his heart.
One night in February, when Josh was watching television, an advertisement for the World’s Greatest Shave popped up and his hope only grew. After a little apprehension about sharing his diagnosis with workmates, Josh dove head first into the Shave on March 5th, all guns blazing. ‘It’s just hair!’ he told himself.
But it was so much more than just hair—with the generosity and support of 12 workmates at BDO Brisbane, Josh was able to help raise money and awareness for many families struggling in the same boat as him. For reference, BDO is a nationwide company focused on delivering services that help drive organisations forward, such as audits, bookkeeping, finance solutions, and tax.
Josh’s initial goal of $2,500 was completely blown out of the water, with the final amount raised at the company-wide event coming in as $20,709. This even surpasses Josh’s later goal of $16,955 (chosen because it equates the number of people who are diagnosed each year).
Rest assured, Josh revealed, ‘I had my final round of chemo this morning and things are looking good! I still have 19 months of immunotherapy (which is new treatment only made possible through the research funded by these charities like Leukemia Foundation) but there are no side effects. Life can pretty much get back to normal for me!’
A heart-warming outcome for Josh indeed, and all at the hands of our awesome community! Truly, the strength of one can be enhanced by the support of many.