We are not alone
Last year’s Wellness Walk and Research Run gave a brave and determined family the platform for a show of support and love for their father and husband Michael Cutajar (54), diagnosed with inoperable colon cancer. At this year’s event on Sunday 6 October, ‘Michael’s Magpies’ will be walking again, honouring and supporting their namesake.
First diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999, Michael had recurrences in 2015 and again in July 2017, and after radiotherapy and chemotherapy, was faced with the sad news in 2018 that his cancer was inoperable.
"Michael is struggling most days at the moment," says Michael’s wife Kim. "We live day-by-day (sometimes hour-by-hour). He is very fatigued a lot of the time but when he does have a good day we take advantage of it and try to get out and enjoy good times by going for a simple brunch/lunch or shopping."
When Michael’s kidneys started to fail and his pain levels increased, he spent four weeks at the ONJ Centre earlier this year. He is currently being treated with immunotherapy and will have a scan at the end of May which will reveal if the treatment is working.
The support has been absolutely amazing during his diagnosis and through his past and current treatment. The care, compassion and professionalism Michael receives is outstanding."
- Kim Cutajar, Michael's wife
Kim says participating in the Wellness Walk and Research Run gives their family and friends the opportunity to rally together and show their support for the tough journey Michael, Kim and their daughter Natalie (21) are going through.
"It means a lot to us to see family and friends showing their love and care for Michael and the hard times he is facing throughout this heartbreaking journey,” she says. “To be a part of the Wellness Walk and Research Run in 2018 was a remarkable experience for Michael, Natalie and I. We walked away on that day knowing we are not alone and that we just have to keep fighting every day with loads of positivity.”
Hoping to increase team numbers from the 45 who participated last year, Kim says this year their team will consist of extended family and friends.
“We will have myself, Natalie, siblings, nieces, nephews and friends all walking as part of Michael’s Magpies,” she says. (Michael is a mad keen Collingwood supporter).
In addition to immunotherapy, palliative care monitoring and physiotherapy, Michael is also receiving oncology massage in the Wellness Centre, support that is only made possible by funds raised at the Wellness Walk and Research Run.
If you’ve been touched by cancer, please join us at the Wellness Walk and Research Run on Sunday 6 October and help show your support, giving hope to people like Michael, Kim and Natalie.
The Wellness Walk and Research Run, both now and in the future, symbolises the courage that Michael has in dealing with his cancer every day."
- Kim Cutajar, Michael's wife
Funds raised at the Wellness Walk and Research Run will support research breakthroughs and provide access to world-leading wellness and supportive care programs, giving patients like Michael hope during cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery.