Ruby Berg with her niece Lexie Long.
Ruby Berg with her niece Lexie Long. contributed

'Bleak': Terminal cancer diagnosis for Ruby

RUBY Berg is only 34, she's never smoked, but she has terminal lung cancer.

As if that wasn't bad enough, Ruby faces an uphill battle to make ends meet, as the cancer has stopped her from working.

A Gofundme page has been started for the 33-year-old who grew up in Calliope and whose parents still live there.

Ruby was diagnosed with lung cancer in April 2012 and was in remission. She went through chemotherapy and had half her lung removed.

However, on January 2 she received some devastating news, when she went to the doctor after feeling sick.

She was told the lung cancer was back, and it had "metastasised from her lung into her blood and her spine".

"I was given the diagnosis and told how bleak it really was," Ruby said.

Ruby said she was doing as well as could be expected.

Last week she was in Brisbane getting a second opinion, after initially being told she had no options.

"But in terms of how I'm feeling, pretty bad and sick, that's the reality," Ruby said.

"I'm just trying to stay positive and optimistic with everything that's going on."

Ruby's second cousin Sami Whitby started the Gofundme page with the goal to raise $20,000. So far just over $2000 has been raised.

Sami said Ruby was in chronic pain because of the cancer and couldn't work as a social worker in Bundaberg.

 

Ruby and Sami Whitby, who has started the GoFundMe page for her second cousin.
Ruby and Sami Whitby, who has started the GoFundMe page for her second cousin. contributed

"She was looking at trying to get funds through her super, but because her super and the insurance says she was diagnosed with cancer five years ago, it's pre-existing so they won't help her out," she said.

"Hence we've started the Gofundme page because she still has to pay rent ... she doesn't want the help but she's got no choice."

Sami said her second cousin was remaining positive despite the horrible situation she faces.

"I know as a registered nurse her chances of beating this are very slim," she said.

Sami said people had been really generous with different donations like food but financial help was what Ruby really needs.

Apart from helping Ruby out, the page is also about raising awareness about lung cancer, Sami said.

"Ruby wants people to know she's not a smoker ... she just got diagnosed with lung cancer incredibly young, it's just horrible," she said.

Ruby said the support from everyone around the region and Queensland had been "quite amazing".

"Who knows what the future will hold, it's going to be a bit of a process but we will see," she said.

The 34-year-old said in 2012 the prognosis was "very poor".

"I was told I had less than 12 months and that was six years ago, so I think being positive definitely helps quite a lot with recovery, and that's what I'm doing," Ruby said.

"The reality is the facts on the Gofundme are pretty scary ... but we want to educate people as well."

Ruby said the cancer she had tested positive for coal not from smoking cigarettes.

"There's a lot of misconceptions around that ... and now we just live in a world where environmental things affect us," she said.

To help Ruby out, go to https://www.gofundme.com/go-fund-ruby.



Funding boost for timber industry proves divisive

premium_icon Funding boost for timber industry proves divisive

Funds for timber industry as conservationists call on end to logging

What Oxley can expect from the State Budget

What Oxley can expect from the State Budget

Oxley electorate wins more than $10 million in new project funding

A 'step backwards' for marine conservation?

premium_icon A 'step backwards' for marine conservation?

"It's a shame this has happened,” scientist says.

Local Partners