Johnny celebrates his second chance
By LEE McDOUGALL
JOHNNY McGannon will be all smiles as he sells bandannas at the Palms Shopping centre today.
While the happy 15-year-old teenager looks the picture of perfect health, three years ago his parents faced their worst nightmare.
"Johnny was diagnosed with a tumour on his brain stem when he was 12 years old," mum Janet said.
"He underwent nine hours of surgery, then radiotherapy and chemotherapy. He had 12 months in Sydney Children's Hospital with me living in a chair next to his bed."
While the positive outcome of the event was that it brought the four members of the McGannon family closer together, it was the support provided by CanTeen that enabled Johnny to 'get his life back'.
"He's great now. A very happy boy. CanTeen enabled him to meet other children, of all ages, who had been through a similar thing," Janet said.
"Johnny's mates were great and very supportive, but they didn't really understand just what he was going through. The CanTeen camps gave Johnny the opportunity to be with kids who knew exactly what he had gone through."
CanTeen's members are people aged 12 to 24 who are cancer patients, siblings of cancer patients or offspring of cancer patients, as well as bereaved siblings and offspring.
Bandanna Day is being held nationally today as part of CanTeen's major fundraising event.
Johnny will be selling bandannas today at the Palms Shopping centre. Fellow CanTeen member Ayman Barbaresco will be selling bandannas at Park Beach Plaza, outside Target.
Bandannas are $3 each, pens are $2 and sets of four 21st birthday badges are $4.