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Health professionals

A young WA primary school teacher has become the face of a new appeal urging West Australians to donate to cancer support services, following his shock melanoma diagnosis at just 21 years old.

Year five teacher, Luke Myers, said he and his family were stunned by the diagnosis.

“In 2021 I began to notice tiny blood spots on my pillowcase and just presumed, as I have short hair, that I had snipped a mole with my clippers,” Mr Myers said.

“As it kept bleeding, I went to my GP who told me it was probably nothing as I was so young. However, I was keen to get rid of it so returned to the GP to have it removed.

“Less than one week later I was given the news that I had stage two melanoma. I was so stunned; I just sat there not knowing what was going on.”

Luke underwent surgery then began an immunotherapy trial.

“What had started as a mole the size of my pinky nail became a 10 centimetre diameter portion taken off the back of my head,” he said.

“I went from playing rugby and exercising, to all of a sudden nothing.

“I had the back of my leg shaved like a cheese grater as a skin graft, so I was bedridden for close to a month, just to deal with that before I could start to walk again.

“It hit me pretty hard, but it’s like one of those things where when something bad in your life happens, it makes you reconsider everything else and what is important and what isn’t.

I am so grateful for the support provided by my family during my cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery, but if I had known about Cancer Council WA’s support services, I definitely would have accessed them.

“I urge people to support this appeal so that more West Australians like me who are diagnosed with cancer, will be able to access support services.”

Cancer Council WA Cancer Information and Support Services Director, Melanie Marsh, said a cancer diagnosis is an incredibly difficult time with many challenges.

“As Luke has shown, the impact of a cancer diagnosis can be devastating,” Ms Marsh said.

“Cancer Council WA’s range of support services are here to provide a trustworthy guide to cancer patients, their family, friends and carers, and can assist with the physical, emotional and practical impact that a cancer diagnosis can bring.

“Our cancer support services are entirely community funded, meaning donations are vital to ensuring no West Australian has to face cancer alone.”

Cancer Council WA is hoping to raise $240,000 through the appeal.