By Jessica Micallef
Damian Bishop is an inspiration to us all.
The Riddells Creek resident is participating in Dry July, a fundraising initiative that raises money for cancer support organisations, for the fourth year in a row.
Mr Bishop said he wanted to participate in the annual event to give back to families that have been affected by cancer.
“I have known a lot of family members and friends that have cancer and passed,” he said.
“It would be these days we all know someone that’s had the big C or have got it, whereas years ago it seemed to be the other way around – it was rarer.”
But this year’s event holds a special place in Mr Bishop’s heart.
“About six weeks ago, I was in the back paddock going out to feed some farm animals and I had bread in my arms and fell face first into a rock,” he said.
“It hurt – one of the worst falls I had ever had. I think I was out for a little while but being a guy that I am, I just thought I would be all right.
“The next day, I had a shower and instead of it being 15 minutes it was a three-hour shower – I fell asleep in the shower.
“I went to hospital and did scans and doctors found a tumor and it was very large. They believed it was benign. It was starting to affect my vision, hearing, sight, balance.
“So this year, doing Dry July, it’s kind of for me as well as everyone else because I thought I was unbreakable but I realised I’m just as vulnerable as everyone else.
“I’ve always been fit, looked after myself reasonably well and it just seems to be able to affect whoever it wants whenever it wants.”
Mr Bishop has undergone surgery to remove the benign tumor. While he recovers, he hopes to raise $5500 for the Olivia Newtown-John Cancer Wellness and Research Centre.
“There’s no time like today, yesterday is too late,” he said.
“Even on a bad day, find a way to smile because you’re still here, you’ve still got family and friends.”
To donate: bit.ly/2xkn0Rz