simon copley

leukaemia survivor

simon copley is a kaurna man from the adelaide plains, south australia


"My brother had bowel cancer in 2010.

That prompted me to have a test to make sure I didn't have bowel cancer.

I hadn't thought of any other type of cancer.

In 2012 I was walking with my daughter and I was exhausted after a few hundred metres.

The next day I saw my doctor and later they called me at work and said go to the emergency department.

I was told that I had blood cancer, leukaemia."


"My family never discussed cancer when we were growing up. Nobody really discussed it, you might say it was almost a taboo subject.

When I was diagnosed with leukaemia I was always going to get treatment because my wife is involved with medicine. The medical people explained I had a good chance of remission and survival, but it would be a very long journey.

I spoke to my family, to specialists, to the Leukaemia Foundation and a chaplain, a priest and a social worker about the cancer treatment. It was ardous and involved 2 years of continuous treatment of chemo, oral chemo and arsenic.

It's been a journey that's been worth it, so I think we made the right decision at the time.

Look, I would suggest no matter how busy you are, whether at work or whatever you are doing, go out, go see a doctor today to have that check up.

No matter how you are feeling, don't put it off."

learn more of simon's story


The Stories of Survival Men's Project is a joint project between Menzies School of Health Research and Oxfam Australia.

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