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When Chris Parata was diagnosed with a rare form of stomach cancer, he found the Cancer Society's support "unbelievable"

After struggling with abdominal pain and acid reflux for many months, Christchurch man Chris Parata was eventually diagnosed with stomach cancer in August 2020.

"Being told that I had cancer, that was really hard to take," Chris says. "My head was spinning."

Chris had surgery to remove the tumour and most of his stomach in September 2020. Following this, he received both chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Chris says that he found the radiation therapy particularly hard.

"Having it five days a week tested my body and my mind," Chris says.

"It created pain, uncertainty and dehydration and I got to the point where I'd had enough," he says.

However, with a short break, some fluids and encouragement from the Radiology nurses, Chris found the strength to continue with his treatment.

"The last day was enormous - I didn't know if I was going to get through and what the outcome would be," he says.

Chris says he really appreciated having the Cancer Society's driving service available to transport him to his hospital appointments.

"I take my hat off to the volunteer drivers - sometimes while I was having fluids, they would wait for 2 or 3 hours to take me home from my appointment," he says.

"It was a big help and took some of that stress away."

Chris says having Catherine Dwan from the Cancer Society's Supportive Care team there to talk to has meant a lot to him.

"You need someone that really understands what you're going through," he says.

"Catherine understood where I was coming from," Chris says.

 A cancer diagnosis brings many challenges. Your donation will help ensure the Cancer Society can continue to support people with cancer across the Canterbury-West Coast region when they need it most.

Chris's story