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Personal cancer story

Te-Aorangi Freisler

Article by Lauren Roberts from NT news.

MILLNER mother-of-two Te-Aorangi Freisler was feeling sick for about a month before she went to see her family doctor, suspecting a simple case of reflux or indigestion was making her unwell. A few weeks and several tests later, Mrs Freisler, 46, was shocked to learn she had incurable stomach cancer.

“They thought that it could be gallstones - we never thought cancer,” she said. “I've got stage four gastric cancer. The only treatment I can have is chemo, that's not to cure it, that's for quality of life.”

Mrs Freisler said after receiving her initial diagnosis her mind went straight to her young daughters, aged just eight and 13. Mrs Freisler’s routine revolves around two things - her treatment, and her kids. “When we first found out, my husband was on it, too, looking into somewhere we could go,” she said. “Neither of us knew anything about cancer. We just wanted our girls to be looked after, to make sure they could cope.”

Mrs Freisler was one of 1500 Territorians who reached out to Cancer Council NT for support last year. Mrs Freisler said the help the not-for-profit provided her family was invaluable, and she urged Territorians to dig deep to support its biggest annual fundraiser Daffodil Day. Cancer Council NT cancer information and support services manager Marg Lavery said daffodils were a symbol of hope.

“The daffodil gives everyone hope that with research and all the work we are putting into knowing more about cancer, one day we’ll have a cure for everyone,” Ms Lavery said. The charity estimates more than 1.1 million Australians have survived a diagnosis or are living with cancer. Ms Lavery said Cancer Council NT provided a wide range of services to people impacted by cancer, from emotional support to financial assistance.

Nationally, it spends more than $20 million on cancer research annually, making it the largest not-for-profit funder of cancer research in Australia.

Read more stories about people's personal experiences with cancer