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In March 2010, 38-year-old Sean Mahony received the devastating news that he had stage four bowel cancer which had spread to his liver.


With this news, Sean’s biggest fear was not getting to see his three young children, then aged 8, 6 and 4, grow up.

Sean immediately began treatment at the Bendat Family Comprehensive Cancer Centre (BFCCC) and defying all odds, he has now celebrated 10 years of survival this year, after receiving over 250 rounds of chemotherapy at the BFCCC.

The BFCCC was established in 2007 through community support to provide comprehensive cancer care, allowing patients to access all the services and support they need, for all cancer types, at one location.

Sean continues to receive treatment at the BFCCC every two weeks and feels very close to his caregivers.

The nurses are like my family now, which makes my treatment days feel more like a social outing, rather than a medical appointment.
Sean, BFCCC patient.
St John of God cancer patient Sean Mahoney with oncologist Dr Van Hagen

Sean praises his forward-thinking medical team, including oncologist Dr Tom van Hagen, who has treated him since his initial diagnosis.

“Dr van Hagen is constantly exploring the latest research and treatment advancements to ensure that I continue to live a good quality of life.”

Philanthropic support enhances our hospitals’ ability to invest in health and medical research to ensure patients like Sean have the best chance for survival. Sean is optimistic about the future.

The longer you stay alive, the more treatment options are available. I hope to stay ahead of the curve and maybe one day there will be a cure.”

Most of all, Sean is grateful to spend time with his family and see his children become young adults.

We would like to thank our donors for their ongoing commitment to supporting leading medical research to help cancer patients like Sean to access the best possible treatment options and live longer, fulfilling lives.

St John of God Foundation and St John of God Health Care are not-for-profit organisations working together to improve health care in our community.

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