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Joshua Gourlay’s inspiring journey with blood cancer and the role of Leukaemia Foundation support

In this episode of the Talking Blood Cancer podcast, host Maryanne Skarparis is joined by guest Joshua Gourlay, who shares his personal journey of living with blood cancer. Joshua candidly reflects on his experience of processing the diagnosis and the subsequent impact on his life, asserting the mindset that “life is too short” to waste. This led him to make a significant and impulsive decision to relocate to Canberra, which ultimately brought him unexpected happiness and a fresh start.

He provides insights into his hospital stay, describing it as a “forced holiday” where he brought personal items like a gaming console and TV to keep himself occupied. Despite the surreal experience and initial difficulty processing his diagnosis, Joshua found solace in writing, which he had stopped for several years. This led to the creation of his blog, “But What If It’s Cancer,” which engaged and supported many of his friends and family.

Touching up on Joshua’s professional life as a consultant in the public service, noting his successful reintegration into work post-remission. His reflective blog post from November 2022, “The Phantom,” is also discussed, underscoring the misconception that life immediately returns to normal post-cancer and the journey of rebuilding oneself.

In the face of financial insecurities and the emotional strains of a failed marriage, Joshua recounts how the unwavering love and support from his parents helped him through the most challenging post-treatment years.

Joshua opens up about his challenges and triumphs, including his move to Canberra which allowed him to rekindle self-love and meet his new partner. He appreciates the immense support from his family, friends, and the Leukaemia Foundation, highlighting the pivotal role of a supportive community in overcoming cancer. He advises listeners to seek support, accept the changes brought by cancer recovery, and find joy and fulfilment in life despite the challenges.

The Talking Blood Cancer Podcast is brought to you by the Leukaemia Foundation and is a proud member of the Talking HealthTech Podcast Network – the premier audio destination for cutting-edge insights and thought leadership in healthcare delivery, innovation, digital health, healthcare ICT, and commercialization. Learn more at

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