Son faces dragon quest

YVONNE GARDINER

IPSWICH businessman Alan Sanson died in June last year of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer. He was 54. This month his son Kel will honour his father and raise funds for cancer research with a gruelling six-kilometre ??dragon boat?? paddle. Kel Sanson knows only too well the heartache of losing a parent to an aggressive disease. ??Nine years ago my dad had a small melanoma removed from his abdomen which we all thought was rather insignificant,???? Mr Sanson said. ??It was suspected that he had male breast cancer, which is quite rare. ??Soon after, Dad underwent a mastectomy to remove his left breast and 29 lymph nodes. It was determined that he had a two-centimetre melanoma tumour.?? Alan Sanson seemed to recover well from the surgery, but chose not to tell his family that scans had shown lumps in his lungs and gall bladder. Further surgery for the gall bladder problems revealed that melanoma was rife in his body. It rapidly took his life. Mr Sanson promised his dying father that he would raise money for melanoma research. He??s keeping his promise by entering the 2007 Challenge for Cancer quest, in which he hopes to raise $20,000 by September. ??By keeping the results of his scans a secret from his family and fighting the cancer as hard as he did, Dad demonstrated plenty of strength and courage ?V something I hope I can partially replicate by doing the dragon boat paddle,???? he said. ??This is a physically demanding challenge.?? His paddle in a dragon boat normally crewed by 20 men, from St Lucia to South Bank, is expected to take about an hour. ??I??ve been paddling for 14 or 15 months now,???? he said. ??We (Brisbane River Dragons) train eight or nine times a week.?? Mr Sanson is seeking donations for the fundraiser. They can be dropped off at Gawdy Green Copy and Print, Bell Street, Ipswich. Inquiries to 3282 9799 or 0400 957 621. ?o?? The challenge paddle will take place between 11am and 2pm on Sunday, February 18, at the Chinese New Year Dragon Boat Regatta, South Bank in Brisbane.



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