Hatton Vale man tells of leukaemia battle

SURVIVOR: Michael Holland will be the guest speaker at the Leukaemia Foundation Lockyer-Brisbane Valley branch’s high tea and fashion parade event on Saturday June 21.
SURVIVOR: Michael Holland will be the guest speaker at the Leukaemia Foundation Lockyer-Brisbane Valley branch’s high tea and fashion parade event on Saturday June 21. Tom Threadingham

WHEN Michael Holland went home early from work feeling ill in May of 2008, he thought nothing more of it.

However, little did he know that by the end of the week he would be diagnosed with leukaemia and caught up in the battle of his life.

This situation is more common than many would think, with more than 3200 people diagnosed with a form of leukaemia or blood disorder each year.

While copping an unexpected blow in his life's journey, one constant stood by Michael's side to offer a helping hand.

This was the Leukaemia Foundation's Lockyer-Brisbane Valley branch.

"They were really good and just what they do for people and how they make life easier for some people is great," Mr Holland said.

In an effort to show his thanks and to help others dealing with similar situations, Mr Holland will be guest speaker for the branch's high tea and fashion parade fundraiser this weekend.

"If I can give something small back, then I'd like to do so and, if anyone gets something out of it, then it'll be worth it," he said.

Mr Holland was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in May 2008, and has decided to share his story to shed light on an issue which many find themselves in.

"I just thought I had the flu and got checked out and it turned out I had leukaemia," he said.

"I had a football-sized tumour in my chest.

"No one in my family had it so it was a complete shock to me.

"I was 23 when I was diagnosed and, for that type of leukaemia, it's normally found in people under 15 or over 60."

Mr Holland said he had to move to Brisbane to be close to treatment.

After nine months of chemotherapy and frequent check-ups, he was given the all-clear in 2013; however, still remains cautious about the disease.

Mr Holland said the Leukaemia Foundation's Lockyer-Brisbane Valley branch had played an integral role in his recuperation.

"They were always in touch and tried to do whatever they could," he said.

The Leukaemia Foundation Lockyer-Brisbane Valley branch will host its high tea and fashion parade this Saturday, June 21, from 2-4.30pm at the Lockyer Valley Cultural Centre.

A raffle will be held at the fundraiser with first prize being a Pterodactyl Helicopter ride.

RSVPs are encouraged by today, June 18, with tickets available from Gatton's Shoes 'R' Us or by phoning branch president Gayle Daetz on 0402 085 260.

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