Issuu on Google+

Your Guide to THE BYRON SHIRE BBFF 2010 Volume 24 #38 Tuesday, March 2, 2010 Mullumbimby 02 6684 1777 Byron Bay 02 6685 5222 Fax 02 6684 1719 21,000 copies every week V E S T I G E S O F A P R I M I T I V E TA L E Marty, ski wizard for Oz Local women want breast screening van back Story & photo Victoria Cosford A rally to to call for the reinstatement of mobile breast screen vans in the area was held last week by the Byron Bay Breast Cancer Group outside the Byron Community and Cultural Centre, attracting considerable interest as well as the presence of Mayor Jan Barham. ‘As many signatures as possible are needed on the petitions to get the vans back in our town’, facilitator Barb Pinter told The Echo. Over 12 months ago the vans were ‘arbitrarily taken away, with no community consultation’, she said. ‘The issue for us is that the numbers of people being diagnosed are going up, according to Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) figures. Every day in Australia 38 women are diagnosed. It’s projected in 2010 that there will be 14,000 new diagnoses made and in 2013 15,409. With those rates going up we need these services improved, not stripped away!’ Three vans used to service 32 towns and now one van services eight. ‘The other thing is that we know early detection not only saves lives but also reduces the amount of treatment required. On a mammogram a tumour the size of a grain of rice can be detected.’ Barb knows personally the value of Marty Mayberry in action, photo courtesy the Australian Paralympic Committee. Eve Jeffery In September 2002, a 16-year-old boy was rushed by ambulance to Lismore Base Hospital where doctors discovered he had meningococcal septicaemia. By October the same year, Marty Mayberry’s legs had been amputated below the knee and he was recovering from the disease described in medical circles as ‘well at breakfast – dead by dinner’. At the time, Echo journalist Carol Page said, ‘Don’t be surprised to see him lining up at the next Winter Paralympics.’ She was right. A keen skier before his illness, Marty’s recovery led him beyond the restoration of mobility and with a characteristic tenacity, Marty returned to a sport he had always loved. After he began competitive skiing in 2004, he first represented Australia in 2005 and in 2006, Marty Mayberry made a dream come true when he qualified for the Torino Winter Paralympic Games. Since then, Marty’s life has continued to amaze those around him. In less than two weeks, Marty will again strap on the skis for Australia when he competes in the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada. Marty’s parents will travel to the Canadian snow fields at Whistler to watch with the rest of the world as international Paralympic athletes accomplish extraordinary victories. ‘I love to watch him race,’ says Marty’s father Paul who, along with wife Gail, has seen Marty has go from strength to strength, firstly in recovery and then becoming an elite athlete. ‘This is an experience of great pleasure after great trauma. He has a wonderful life. He came so close to dying, so we are so glad that he is here with us.’ Marty has had great success in the sport with international results including a 2007 World Cup gold in slalom and a 2008 World Cup bronze. This week he is competing in the pre-Paralympic World Cup in Aspen and is skiing and training at a high level. His ski and leg setup, which is quite difficult to get correct for the different snow conditions, is working well. Marty will ski in the slalom, giant slalom and ‘super G’ (super giant slalom) and he is hoping to get a place in the downhill, an event in which he is starting to blitz the competition. As well as his career as an elite ath- See centre pages early detection. ‘Taking the vans away is a retrograde step for the women in the community and their families. The two major factors in getting people to be screened are access to and awareness of the service. Those vans acted as a good visual reminder to people.’ Group member Ann McCabe, for whom the presence of the van near the preschool where she worked used to be a familiar sight, told The Echo that ‘apart from all the statistical stuff, it’s so convenient to have it in your area – you can go in your lunch hour!’ The service now operates only in Lismore and Tweed Heads – ‘an hour’s drive each way’, noted Barb. ‘Often people don’t have access to a motor vehicle. There are no trains, and only one afternoon bus to Lismore. ‘What we’d like to know is how many people from the local area were screened when the vans were here and how many are being screened at Tweed and Lismore now, as well as how many people were actually diagnosed at the vans before they were taken away.’ These are just some of the questions that, along with the petition, will be put by the Support Group to the Minister for Health. ‘On a positive note’, said Barb, ‘the rates of survival are going up – and it can be put down to early screening and early detection.’ lete, Marty has other great visions for his future. Living by Ghandi’s words – ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ – he recently completed a health science degree and earlier this month began a medical degree, completing one week of the course before he went back to the US and Canada for training. ‘If Marty skis well and finishes the races he should be in the top ten, possibly as good as fifth,’ says Paul. ‘If he wins a medal that would be great, but however it goes will be fine. ‘If he is happy with how he skis that would be a great outcome. He came sixth in downhill and Super G at the World Championships last year and has previously won a world cup slalom race, so he is in there with a chance and I know he will do his best. ‘He has been training for six years which is an extraordinary commitment. What I find remarkable about Marty is how normal his life is and how he lives his life and how focussed he became after becoming disabled to achieve what he chose to aim for.’ The 10th Winter Paralympic Games run from March 12 to 21. See more at and you can From left, Jan Barham, Barb Pinter, Ann McCabe, Helen Parker, Lindy McColsee the action on ABC1. lum and petition-signer Lisa Apostolides. ABN 82 087 650 682 <echowebsection=Local News>

Byron Shire Echo – Issue 24.38 – 02/03/2010

Related publications