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RELAY FOR LIFE: James Crute: ‘You’ve got to fight’

Cancer survivor James Crute, 30, at the Giant Koala in Dadswells Bridge. Dadswells Bridge will have a Relay For Life team for the first time.

UP FOR THE FIGHT: Thirty-year-old James Crute of Dadswells Bridge will take his battle against cancer to Horsham and District Relay for Life at Dock Lake Reserve on Friday and Saturday. Mr Crute is recovering from tissue cancer after he found a lump on his ribcage last year. He will join relay participants from across the region and promote a message of hope for people affected by the disease. The Weekly Advertiser is a major sponsor of Relay for Life. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Thirty-year-old James Crute is gripped in a battle against cancer.
Diagnosed with sarcoma, a type of tissue cancer, Mr Crute, from Dadswells Bridge, endured five weeks of radiation therapy and multiple operations last year to remove a growth he discovered on his ribcage.
Mr Crute had found the small lump in March, 2018, and watched it grow ‘to the size of a softball’ by July.
“Blokes being blokes I thought nothing about it,” he said.
“It took me months to even tell my partner that the lump was there.”
Earlier this year Mr Crute returned to the operating room for special cancer surgery, as well as reconstructive surgery.
Surgery involved replacing affected skin on his chest with a section from his upper right thigh.
“It’s quite interesting with the tattoos,” he said. “There is a bit of patchwork going on.”
Latest test results have returned ‘negative’ for Mr Crute, but his journey has left a lasting impact beyond physicality.
“In the first week it was just hard,” Mr Crute said about his cancer treatment.
“You go in there yourself and you’re like ‘yeah, I’m doing it tough’, then you see a little three or four year old walk in to have chemo treatment and you just go: ‘no, I’m fine, I’m doing great’.
“That was a struggle. That’s what hit me the most.
“It makes you think that there’s got to be something else you can do.”
Mr Crute said support from his community as well as other men and patients he met through treatment inspired him to become involved in Relay for Life this year.
PERMANENT REMINDER: James Crute’s patchwork of tatoos is the result of multiple surgeries to remove a cancerous growth on his ribcage.   Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

PERMANENT REMINDER: James Crute’s patchwork of tatoos is the result of multiple surgeries to remove a cancerous growth on his ribcage.

“When I was in hospital, I posted on the Facebook group ‘Blokes Advice’ and had men personally get in contact and say they were getting a lump checked out,” he said.
“It’s very humbling, just from putting yourself out there. That’s why I had to get behind something. I couldn’t just sit back.”
Mr Crute said he believed the power in small communities was a major regional asset, with events such as Relay for Life able to make a big difference for cancer patients and their carers.
“The community has been absolutely amazing,” he said. “We can band together for a good cause.”
But Mr Crute said society still had a way to go.
He said while Horsham had recently opened a Wimmera cancer treatment centre, there remained a disconnect between country Victoria and the ‘city’.
“It’s about how far you’ve got to travel,” he said.
“If you’re having major treatment, it gets a bit frustrating. You’re five hours away from Melbourne and sometimes it involves getting a phone call two days before you need to go in.”
Mr Crute said he hoped to see more prominent doctors visit the region and take note of what progress was still needed.
“A lot of them don’t know we exist,” he said.
“If they could take a little bit of time to come down to the country and just see how tough we’re doing it down here – I’d love to see that happen.”
Nevertheless, Mr Crute is walking strong this Relay for Life at Dock Lake Reserve.
He hopes to keep up his fight against cancer as part of the Dadswells Dawdlers team, which has already raised more than $3000.
He was also quick to reveal a positive mental attitude about his fight against the disease.
“I’m not going to have any of this. I’ve got more life to live,” he said.
“Don’t ever let anything kick you down in life. You’ve got to stand strong.
“The one thing I’ve learnt from this is that you’ve got to fight.”

Get behind your Relay For Life Team

The entire March 13, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on Mar 13 2019

Posted by on Mar 13 2019. Filed under FEATURED, Health & Lifestyle, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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