Worn with pride
By MEL MARTIN
ONE good thing that resulted from 14-year-old Jonny McGannon's brain tumour is that he got the dirt bike he always wanted.
And breaking his collarbone on it didn't stop him and his brother, Dylan, from spending the day at the Palms Centre yesterday, selling more than $300 worth of bandannas for CanTeen.
Because to Jonny, CanTeen has been a lifeline, providing him with endless support and an opportunity to meet other kids with similar experiences.
Two years ago, at the age of 12, Jonny was diagnosed with a malignant aggressive brain tumour. What followed was harrowing.
An eight-hour brain operation, six weeks of radiotherapy, and four months of intensive chemotherapy.
All up, Jonny went through 12 months of treatment, followed by months of recovery.
"I couldn't smell food. I would just throw up," Jonny said.
With Jonny's father having to maintain a business in Lightning Ridge, his mother, Janet Inglis, stayed with Jonny watching him lose more than a third of his body weight, and becoming so weak he could hardly walk.
"I went insane for 12 months. I was glued to him," she said.
"He looked like a little prisoner of war.
"He really thought he was going to die for a while, and we all made the decision he wasn't going to."
In the end, Jonny came through, and was grateful for CanTeen's help and support.
"Kids who haven't been through it don't understand, and while they can be a great support, you still need that support from people who have been through the same thing as you have," Ms Inglis said.
So Jonny didn't hesitate in spending the day selling bandannas to raise fund for the organisation yesterday, starting with the staff at Koops Martin, where Ms Inglis works, who rose to the occasion and bought another $200 worth of bandannas.
"Koops Martin have been wonderful with support," Ms Inglis said, adding the whole family is now so relieved Jonny is all right.
"Looking at Jonny now, you wouldn't know," she said.
"He's my hero, I admire him so much, and Dylan as well, we're a very strong family."
n Today is CanTeen National Bandanna Day, so buy and don your bandanna and help CanTeen help more young people affected by cancer. Bandannas are available from Woolworths, The Greater Credit Union, Ray White Offices, NewsLink, Kennards Hire, as well as at a range of participating businesses and schools. For more information visit www.canteen.org.au