Grace Gawler blog – cancer survival

There is nothing quite as compelling as a personal story well told – Listen to stories from Rev Ian Mavor and Deirdre Hanna on this week’s Navigating the Cancer Maze- Voice America internet radio:

Surviving cancer at all costs often dominates the world of a cancer patient. In the alternative medicine movement in particular; blogs and websites – little if any attention is given to the “failure” factor – not popular on these sites for obvious reasons. Just imagine someone trying to sell you a “Cure for Cancer” – potions, tea, supplements and dietary regimens; if there was an “out-clause” – errr if this doesn’t work for you…here is what to do!!! It somewhat destroys the ‘faith factor’ doesn’t it.

Cancer counsellors, cancer entrepreneurs, cancer authors must be more responsible and address the issue of what to do, what strategies to employ just incase things don’t work out as hoped for – the possibility or probability of not making it through cancer or some other life threatening challenges is real for many people. Denial and avoidance are not useful ways of dealing with a truth that will – at sometime confront. Let’s face it we are all going to go at some time! Most of the people who have died in the past 12 months that I know have not been cancer patients! There have been heart attacks, accidents and other unexpected life events. So Death – the great adventure is something we all need to be prepared for….as many have said – dealing with death fees up more energy for living. This is especially important if you have been diagnosed with a life challenging illness.

This week on Navigating the Cancer Maze I interviewed Rev Dr Ian Mavor and Deirdre Hanna from Hopewell Centre on Australia’s Gold Coast. I chose to interview this couple because they do not give lips service -they know what it is like to work at the coalface of life’s big issues ….end of life experience, grief and loss with adults and children. Their work is important and they reach many – but their concept could reach further into our society. Of course their work goes far beyond cancer. How we all deal with grief, loss, shock, betrayals etc can form the substrate of who we present to the world. I believe, and many would agree, that the way we learn to deal with life’s big issues can significantly affect health in all manner of ways.

So Paradise kids is a creative and compassionate vehicle for children to talk about, share and acknowledge how they feel about the loss and grief they have incurred whether through death in a family, divorce etc … Click here to donate to and Support Paradise Kids

Navigating the Cancer Maze Voice America Grace GawlerThis interview is highly recommended as the subject is often avoided.

Navigating the Cancer Maze The most important issue we can address – death; the great adventure

January 18, 2013

Today on Navigating the Cancer Maze we are going to talk about one of the most if not THE most difficult issues for discussion for cancer patients, families and friends of cancer patients. This an episode to bookmark for if and ever you are faced with helping someone with an end of life experience. Talking about palliative care, grief, loss and death is often seen as an unpalatable subject for cancer patients who want to be pro active with searching for the “cure”. But the reality is not everyone makes it through the journey of cancer and one thing is certain; we all must die at some time. What can be done to prepare? How can dealing with death free up energy for living? Rev Dr Ian Mavor and his wife Deirdre Hanna have chosen one of the most challenging vocations. Hospice, palliative care and helping people through loss and grief is their daily menu. Together they founded the Hopewell Centre and Paradise kids on Australia’s Gold Coast.    


Rev. Dr Ian  Mavor

Rev. Dr Ian Mavor, OAM, FACE A Uniting Church Minister, much of Ian’s professional life has been in specialist roles. Co-Founder Rev Dr Ian Mavorand Executive Director Ian serves as Executive Director of Hopewell Hospice Services Inc which includes Hopewell Hospice, Paradise Kids, the Living Well Centre and the Hopewell College of Transformative Education. He is a member of the Health Community Council-Gold Coast Health District and a member of the State Council of Palliative Care Queensland. In 2002, Ian was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) “For service to the community through a range of church, social welfare, education and health groups”.


Deirdre  Hanna

Deirdre Hanna is founding President and Executive Director of Children’s Services (Paradise Kids) and Spiritual Care. Deirdre’s Deirdre Hanna Paradise kidsbackground includes Bachelor of Theology (B.Th), Certificate in Transpersonal Psychotherapy and Counselling; Doctoral Student, University of Creation Spirituality; Multi-Disciplinary Certificate in Hospice Care, St Christopher’s London; Certificate in Mindfulness Meditation, Massachusetts Medical School Mind-Body Stress Reduction Clinic; Certificate in Spiritual Retreat Leading and Direction. Diploma of Nutrition and Dietetics; Diploma in Swedish Massage. Zonta Gold Coaster of the Year, (1994) Winston Churchill Memorial Fellow 1995 (Spiritual Care for Cancer Patients), The City of Gold Coast Women at Work wonderful 20th Century Gold Coast Women Award, Gold Coast Bulletin Community Service Medal, 2007; Member of the Churchill Fellows Association; Princeton Global Network.

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