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​Leukemia survivor wants you to go Dry this July

Thursday 11 June 2020

The care shown to Nguyen Thai Dang since he first came to the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) in 2018 for chemotherapy to treat leukemia, ended in him nicknaming the PAH "The Hilton of Hospitals".

Thai, as he is known to his friends, checked into the PAH's Oncology Ward at the request of haematologists in October 2018, due to his white blood cell count sliding downward for a matter of months.

"There was a trial treatment organised by PAH and Norvatis Pharmaceutical that would allow me to have a path to treatment that would be less of a burden to Australian taxpayers," Thai said.

"Looking at the results of my last blood test, I decided to get on thetrial. It was a win-win; I would get the treatment and the medical science team could get new weapons to fight the Leukemia disease."

Thai spent around six weeks in the PAH including stints in both Oncology, ICU and Ward 3C and multiple trips to the X-Ray and CT Scanning departments. Reflecting on his treatment journey, he has nothing but praise for all who helped him beat the disease, including the range of services that were on offer to help support patients.

"I was so impressed with the hospital and its staff, the service and care from doctors and nurses is first class," he said.

Thai, who still visits the PAH once a year to see his liver specialist Dr Powell, went on to become a valued fundraiser for the hospital and the PA Research Foundation (PARF), such is his gratitude towards his care.

He has a simple message for anyone thinking of doing their own fundraising for PARF to assist the hospital through Dry July or other initiatives.

"Take a tour and visit some patients (could be their friends or relatives). Talking to the doctors will also be encouraged," he said.

Funds raised through Dry July will help expand the Queensland Cancer Wellness Initiative (QCWI), where patients receiving treatment for cancer are enabled, nurtured and empowered to access evidence-based support at a time and place that works for individual needs, to enrich their life outside of treatment.

Dry July is an annual challenge to take a break from alcohol for the month, where participants ask family and friends to sponsor them with funds going to support people undergoing cancer treatment.

The QCWI currently offers patients a range of activities to improve their physical and mental health including; cooking classes, yoga, gym, physiotherapy, massage, Lymphoedema treatment, leisure activities such as gaming consoles and movies, pet therapy, nutrition, dietary support, programs to counteract cancer-related fatigue, social and emotional support and a Virtual Wellness Portal.

To register to raise funds for PARF through Dry July 2020 or make a donation to the campaign head to our Dry July page.

For more information on the QCWI head to