Leukaemia: My world was turned upside down

Inspiring Stories

It’s been a difficult journey for Mark as he has dealt with acute promyelocytic leukaemia.

“When I was told I might have leukaemia in 2008, I was a fit 23-year-old working in the mines in Darwin. All I wanted to do was hop on a plane and go home to my family on the Sunshine Coast.

When further tests confirmed I had a rare form of leukaemia, acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APML), my mum took extended leave from work to be right by my side. We were flown straight to Brisbane to embark on months of grueling chemotherapy.

From the moment we arrived in Brisbane, in what seemed like our darkest hour, the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland was there surrounding us with the most amazing support and care. The doctors and nurses took care of my medical needs, and the Leukaemia Foundation took care of most of our other concerns, like where we would live.

Our two-bedroom unit at the Leukaemia Foundation’s ESA Village became our home – a very special place where we could be together and where we were surrounded with love and support from staff and other patients and their families. Nothing was too much trouble for the support staff at the village. Not only were they there for me as the patient, but also for Mum as my carer. I always felt like we were all in this together – I was not alone!

I was in remission from leukaemia for two years when my world was turned upside down again with the devastating news of relapse. Through the very difficult process of a stem cell transplant and the complications that went with that, the Leukaemia Foundation was there for us all over again.

It has been an incredibly difficult journey for me and my family, but we are about to return home to the Sunshine Coast and feel incredibly positive about the future. I will always be grateful to the Leukaemia Foundation for the home and care they provided for Mum and I, and all at no cost.” Mark Groth

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