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Making sure someone’s always there

Rhys Marshall during treatment

The generosity of our supporters means every person diagnosed with a blood cancer is given a helping hand and friendly face to help them through this turbulent time.

Diagnosed with a blood cancer a day before his 24th birthday, Rhys Marshall was faced with a world of uncertainty. Luckily, Rhys was put in contact with Leukaemia Foundation Blood Cancer Support Coordinator, Amber to help him navigate through his blood cancer journey.

Here Rhys takes you through the many ways Amber supported him – all made possible by our generous supporters.

“My blood cancer coordinator, Amber, is Wonder Woman to me.”

Blood Cancer Support Coordinator Amber

Rhys could learn about and understand his blood cancer…

“Honestly, I had never heard of lymphoma before. I’m fairly curious and like to know what’s happening in my body and what the treatment is trying to achieve. When I got diagnosed, Amber provided all the Leukaemia Foundation info booklets and always made the time to talk to me through the information and answer my questions.”

Rhys’ partner, Allanah, was supported through the mental battles…

“My partner, Allanah, had stayed so strong throughout the treatment, but when I relapsed she started to struggle mentally. Amber made the trip to our hometown and called in to have a chat about everything. I know Allanah took some comfort in learning what she was feeling was normal. After that, she felt so much better.”

Rhys had a clean and safe home so he could recover quicker…

“When I had to have my first transplant in another city, I was dreading having to organize accommodation for me and my family. I was so grateful to be provided an amazing unit – completely free of charge. It was extremely clean and fit for purpose, it had everything I needed for my recovery. As the transplant involved wiping out my immune system, it was imperative that I stayed in a clean, isolated environment. Some of the nurses said they felt that having such a place to stay, was the reason my recovery was shortened from the normal five weeks to just three.”

I have another transplant coming up that I will have to travel interstate for. Amber has already been in contact with the Leukaemia Foundation staff there to make sure I’m marked as a priority for a unit – I couldn’t be more grateful!”

Rhys had the confidence to take on treatment…

“When I found out I needed another transplant, this time from a foreign donor – I got really worried about all the terrible side effects that can happen. I called Amber and told her how stressed I was, that I didn’t know if I should even do it. She told me; “You know the doctors wouldn’t have recommended it if they didn’t think you needed it…I really think you should give it a go but let me give you all the information to make sure you make the best decision for you.”

 Rhys’ bills were covered so he could focus on his health…

“One of the best things was the Leukaemia Foundation offering to cover all our phone, electrical and utility bills while I was getting treatment. The value of that type of support cannot be understated – it’s the last thing you want to think about when you’re trying to focus on getting better.”

Rhys Marshall post treatment

Thank you to our generous supporters for being there for Rhys through every step of his blood cancer journey. While Amber is Wonder Woman to Rhys, our supporters are superheroes too for making this all possible! 

Last updated on August 6th, 2020

Developed by the Leukaemia Foundation in consultation with people living with a blood cancer, Leukaemia Foundation support staff, haematology nursing staff and/or Australian clinical haematologists. This content is provided for information purposes only and we urge you to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis, treatment and answers to your medical questions, including the suitability of a particular therapy, service, product or treatment in your circumstances. The Leukaemia Foundation shall not bear any liability for any person relying on the materials contained on this website.