11 January 2016
Grant Lawrence’s life changed dramatically in August 2014 when he was diagnosed with melanoma. Five months earlier, a small pinkish lump was removed from the top of his shoulder which tests showed was not of concern. However, results from a biopsy in early August revealed melanoma.
Grant's disease was at a stage that required extensive surgery which he underwent at MIA in conjunction with radiation therapy. Despite this intervention, the melanoma had spread and he commenced immunotherapy soon after.
Grant's mum and dad, Carolyn and Darryl, have been by his side throughout his diagnosis and treatment and they now accompany him on the 14-hour round road trip from their home in Nambucca Heads for his treatment at MIA every three weeks.
The family's commitment is paying off as after many months of therapy, there is good news. Grant's scans are showing the therapy has achieved remarkable results, "I am feeling really well. It was the best news that the treatment is doing what it is supposed to,” Grant said.
Grant's parents are dedicated to getting their son well again.
"It doesn't matter if your child is 8, 18 or 28 you just want them to be happy and healthy,” Carolyn said. “We know Grant is getting world-class care from the medical teams at MIA. Our job as a family is to be there for Grant, together with the professionals, giving him additional emotional strength to fight the disease. Travelling a 14-hour round trip every three weeks is a small price to pay to be able to access the excellent care provided by the doctors and support staff at MIA and The Mater Hospital. They are doing an incredible job, and all of the hard work. The trip is easy compared to the challenges Grant is facing."
Grant added, "Mum and Dad have been amazing. My brother and sister-in-law also flew down from Brisbane when I first started my treatment at MIA. They, along with my now one-year-old identical twin nephews have been by my side. I can't tell you the difference it makes to have your family supporting you when you're going through something like this.”
Grant is also grateful to the dedicated team at MIA who are helping save his life.
"My heroes don't wear capes, they're not out there on the pitch playing sport and often don't get the recognition they deserve. My heroes are MIA's doctors, nurses and researchers who are devoting their lives to treating and curing melanoma."