A Tribute to Jeff Mahoney
Jeff & Naomi July 2006
Jeff James Mahoney, or JJ as he is always known, has pancreatic cancer. Doctors have told him there is no chance of remission.
Last October, he was finishing chemotherapy and radiation treatment at the Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre at Campbelltown Hospital when his wife Naomi saw saw a brochure advertising the 24-Hour Fight Against Cancer Macarthur fund-raiser at the Athletics Stadium, Leumeah.
Naomi and JJ's sister, Robyn, decided to enter a team.
"We don't have financial resources to make a donation to the Macarthur Cancer Centre, so we though if we could get sponsorship it would be our way of saying thanks," Naomi said.
"A brother-in-law secured a $500 donation from his social club and the Ingelburn RSL and Campbelltown Community Pipes and Drum Band matched it on condition that Robyn completed 100 laps. Robyn said yes - and then found out how far 100 laps really was."
"JJ's four children and parents also arranged sponsorship and raffles."
"On the event weekend JJ was still feeling poorly so his mum and dad brought their campervan to allow him to join in the fun and rest in comfort when needed. Family members, including JJ in a wheelchair, took turns to accompany Robyn on the track. An exhausted Robyn finished her 100th lap on the Sunday"
Jeff, Naomi and Robyn came to the recent launch of the 2006 Fight Against Cancer Macarthur.
"JJ has stayed with us to see another year because of his positive attitude - and because Macarthur has the very best Cancer Centre," Naomi said. The team raised $3,000.
If you are interested in finding out more contact Kathy on 02 4627 4743 or Sue on 0402 351 339.
Life spent giving all he can give
By Mandy Wyer June 14th 2006
When long-term blood doner Jeffery Mahoney was giving blood it was always with the idea that he could help save someone's life - he never dreamed that he might find himself on the receiving end.
Mr Mahoney, 43, grew up in Padstow and comes from a family of blood doners and SES volunteers, but none have been as determined to donating blood to the Red Cross as he.
He not only donated blood about four times a year, originally starting back at the age of 18, but he also organised bus loads of people from the pallet manufacturer where he worked to make the trip into the Red Cross to give blood.
He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the beginning of last year after noticing that his skin was going yellow and itchy.
"I went to the doctor and he found a tumor pushing against my bile duct," Mr Mahoney said.
"The doctor said I was dying and had only six to 12 months to live. That was 18 months ago," he said.
Last week, he received a quarter of his blood supply volume being pumped back into him within a 24 hour period and has had about seven packs of blood in the last 2 weeks because his body is no longer maintaining a healthy blood supply.
But Mr Mahoney, a man if few words, remained philosophical and unbitter about his situation.
"We've all got to go sometime. I have just been given a shorter time frame than others," he said.
"When I wake up in the morning and look at the new day I think about my wife, my family, my parents and sisters - all the people who I love - and that is my blessing."
Mr Mahoney grew up in a family which espoused the value of community and always giving something back rather than looking for life's monetary rewards.
Mum and Dad were always doing something in the community - Dad with the Scouts and Mum with the Guides. They were also always helping out after school and in the school holidays, as well, and were members of the SES.
"Only last Monday they were out chopping five trees down," he said.
Mr Mahoney said his parents, aged 65 and 69, set a good example and he tried to follow their lead giving both blood and plasma as his means of giving back to the community.
"I wasn't ever very financial and thought blood seemed like a good way of being charitable," he said.
"Even if you don't end up needing blood yourself, like me, at least you can be sure that someone else is going to be able to use it and be better off as a result in the end."