YouTube’s AngryDad Mark Orval reveals he has prostate cancer


Australian YouTube star Mark Orval has revealed he is battling aggressive prostate cancer in an emotional social media post.

The 53-year-old former Aussie rules player, known as “AngryDad” around the world, took to Instagram to tell fans about the devastating news.

“This is the hardest post I have ever done but I feel the need to do it for several reasons,” he wrote.

“My life motto has and always will be about honesty, so as I go about my life I can’t be fake…. so right now when someone asks me how you going I am not going to say ‘I’m fine’…. because I’m not.”

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The father of three said he received his diagnosis from a specialist after a blood test several weeks ago “concerned” his GP.

“Sadly the events that have unfolded since have confirmed I have an aggressive prostate cancer,” Mark added.

“Exactly what this all means right at this minute is still unknown as more tests are required urgently to check for spreading beyond the prostate, at which point the final treatment plan will be formalised.”

The YouTube sensation said that while it is a very private matter, he felt the immediate need to share a message with all men that are at risk of this disease — “to GET TESTED”.

“I regrettably missed my annual test last year due to Covid and whilst that now doesn’t matter and can’t change things it highlights the importance of regular tests. 12 months earlier my results were perfect!”

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Mark revealed that he lost his mother to cancer just a few months ago and after learning about his diagnosis was “a massive shock”.

“But it’s the cards I have been dealt. This isn’t about sympathy, rather it’s about highlighting the reality of life as I am not the first and won’t be the last to face a life challenge and believe me I will hit this harder than I have ever hit anything in my life.”

Mark is a much-loved social media star who is known to millions of fans around the world as Angry Dad.

He rose to fame in 2015 when his sons, Mitchell and Dylan, began secretly filming his expletive-laden tirades and posting them on Facebook.

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Mitchell then launched a career as an influencer and YouTube prankster after Angry Dad became a viral sensation.

Mark’s daughter, Hannah, is also a notable social media influencer.

“You got this big fella. Love you,” Mitchell posted on Instagram, while sister Hannah wrote: “Love you dad. All my love to anyone going through similar, it’s such a scary process”.

Mark’s wife, Sharon, also paid tribute to her husband on Instagram after he shared his cancer diagnosis.

“Our family is heartbroken for you, but we are so proud of your courage and strength, just like your beautiful mum and dad showed,” she wrote.

“While it’s going to be a journey, we remain positive and look forward to our future and happiness. I’m mostly proud that your using your platform and this opportunity to remind all men to be please get regularly tested for prostate cancer.

“It’s a very simple blood test and can save your life. Please do it.”





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NSW girl’s ‘droopy’ smile leads to rare brain cancer diagnosis


In the last few weeks of 2018, Deb Hunt remembers constantly having to tell her daughter Emily to smile more.

Taking photos over the holiday season the Southern Highlands mum and her husband, Jono Hunt, began to notice their then-four-year-old wasn’t cracking her usual grin.

“Her smile was lopsided and it was like one side of her face just wasn’t working,” Ms Hunt told news.com.au.

“We thought initially it might have been in our heads and we just kept saying, ‘Big smile, big smile.’”

But the mum of three realised something was wrong when she noticed Emily had become self-conscious of her “droopy smile”.

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“It got to the point where she was aware of her smile, she wouldn’t smile in photos because she knew that she couldn’t; it wouldn’t happen for her,” Ms Hunt said. “That was when we went, ‘Oh OK, something’s amiss, we better get this checked out.’”

Despite having no other symptoms, Emily’s GP recommended the Hunts take her to hospital for further tests.

“Everything that she was showing seemed normal – her balance, she had no nausea, no headaches. Nothing that pointed to anything sinister,” Ms Hunt said.

But a hospital MRI scan would reveal a lump on Emily’s brain and she was transferred to Sydney’s Children’s Hospital in Westmead, a two-hour drive from the Hunt family home.

It was there the Hunts would later receive devastating news: Despite doctors initially hoping the lump was benign, a biopsy confirmed the 4cm mass was actually a “very aggressive, highly evasive tumour”.
Emily was diagnosed as having an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour (ATRT), a rare and fast-growing form of brain cancer.

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“Horrific – it’s the worst news I have ever received in my life,” Ms Hunt said of the moment she discovered Emily had the life-threatening cancer.

“I’ve been very blessed and I’ve had a very easy life and that just brought everything crashing down.”

Emily was given an intensive two-year treatment plan to fight the cancer involving two rounds of radiation, chemotherapy, stem cell treatments and “more blood tests than I can remember”, Ms Hunt said.

Living two hours away from where Emily was receiving treatment also made things more difficult.

“Family stepped in to keep as much consistency for the older siblings as possible,” Ms Hunt said.

“Ronald McDonald House was there instantly to create the home away from home.”

The Hunt family have stayed at the Ronald McDonald House near The Children’s Hospital in Westmead for more than 149 days, with the place a lifeline during some of their most difficult moments.

Ronald McDonald House Charities provides houses, rooms and retreats for the families of seriously ill children.

The independent charity has 18 Ronald McDonald Houses near hospitals across Australia, with the centres providing a safe haven for families in need.

“Ronald McDonald was instrumental in providing a safe place where we could all be together and not have to do this travelling all the time,” Ms Hunt said.

“Having the haven of your own bathroom, your own bed, your own pull-down blinds and just sleep whenever you can was just fantastic.

“Even the kitchen where you could just go make whatever you needed, whenever you needed.”

Emily has “powered through” two years of aggressive treatment and appears in this year’s Dance For Sick Kids campaign.

The week-long dance challenge will take place from May 15-21 to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Anyone can pledge to dance between 30 minutes to two hours a day for the week, with all money going towards helping sick and injured children, as well as their families.

Emily, 6, loves to dance, and had an “absolute blast” filming the campaign alongside her father.

“She loves seeing herself in the magazines and on the TV. She says, ‘You know Mum I’m famous right?’” Ms Hunt said with a laugh.

This month, Emily completed her two years of aggressive treatment and will have an MRI in April to find out if she needs more done.

“The MRI will then dictate what happens next,” Ms Hunt said. “The hope is that we’re moving into the next phase which is just check-ups to ensure that nothing is changing and go forwards; that’s our hope.”

Registrations for Dance For Sick Kids are now open, for more information visit their website.



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Post-lockdown cancer spike predicted in Victoria


Victoria could see a surge in cancer diagnoses in the next year, after researchers estimated thousands of cases went undiagnosed during the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

An estimated 2530 cancers were delayed or missed during the six-and-a-half month period of coronavirus restrictions, according to research published on Monday by the Medical Journal of Australia.

The impact of delayed diagnosis is greatest for patients with aggressive cancers, with the study authors warning of a possible surge in cancer diagnoses in the next six to 12 months.

Researchers from Cancer Council Victoria, Monash University and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre used Victorian Cancer Registry data to look at the relationship between the state’s COVID-19 restrictions between April and October 15, 2020 and cancer pathology notifications, to estimate their impact on cancer diagnoses.

They found pathology notifications dropped 10 per cent drop when compared to modelling predictions.

By tumour group, they found reductions in diagnoses were most marked for prostate cancer, head and neck tumours, melanoma and breast cancer. They were greater for men, people aged 50 years or more and for people in more well-off areas.

The authors, led by Victorian Cancer Registry head of data analytics, Dr Luc te Marvelde, said that changes in how care was delivered during the restrictions may have led to delayed diagnoses.

“Changes in care delivery during the restrictions, including suspension of screening services and outpatient clinics and postponed surveillance of existing cancers, may have affected notification numbers for some tumour groups and consequently the estimated number of delayed diagnoses,” they said in their study.

Medicare Benefits Schedule data had also showed 37 per cent fewer screening procedures for breast cancers and 55 per cent fewer for colorectal cancers nationally in April 2020 than in March 2020.

Dr te Marvelde and his colleagues warned there may be a “possible surge in cancer diagnoses over the coming six to 12 months”.

They said publicity encouraging Victorians to not further delay seeking medical attention may help reduce any negative impact of delayed cancer diagnosis.



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St Kilda schoolgirl Kimberley Ametoglou reveals her cancer is back


The woman known as the “St Kilda schoolgirl”, who was involved in one of the biggest controversies to rock the AFL, has been hit with “devastating” news about her health.

Kimberley Ametoglou, formerly Kim Duthie, was just 17 when sports agent Ricky Nixon started an inappropriate relationship with her.

Ms Ametoglou posted semi-nude photos of Nixon in a Melbourne hotel room in 2010, triggering a massive scandal at the St Kilda Football Club.

Nixon fled to London following the incident and lost his accreditation to the AFL Players’ Association.

Ms Ametoglou revealed earlier this year that she would finally be able to tell her side of the story about her involvement in the 2010 scandal, as the nondisclosure agreements she signed had finally lapsed.

“Finally speaking my truth,” she said.

“This is one of the most challenging things I have ever done, reminiscing on past traumas and a time in my life that I was at absolute rock bottom.

“NDA contracts have finally expired now it’s 2021 and it’s my chance to finally close a chapter.”

Ms Ametoglou hopes to release her tell-all book later this year, something she said would help her “finally recover and gain closure”.

In 2015, Ms Ametoglou took Nixon to court in an attempt to stop him releasing his tell-all book.

She eventually lost, with Nixon releasing his book My Side in December 2015, after the Victorian Supreme Court granted him permission.

But Ms Ametoglou has hit a hurdle in her hopes to tell all.

The 27-year-old, who last year revealed she had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cervical cancer, took to Instagram yesterday to post photos of herself in hospital again.

“Not where I wanted to be today … still in shock but I’m staying positive,” she wrote from her hospital bed yesterday, in clothes ready for surgery.

“I’ve been quiet about this but I’m devastated. When I was under last week during surgery, they found a rare tumour completely unrelated and I have been diagnosed with cancer again.”

Ms Ametoglou was on her way into surgery where a doctor was going to “mark up margins and measure the size of the cancerous mass”.

Ms Ametoglou thanked her 66,000 followers and said she’d “see them all once she’s out”.

The 27-year-old has had a run of bad health since she took to Instagram last year to reveal her cancer diagnosis.

“As most of you know by now I am battling aggressive cervical cancer,” she wrote, in a post from March last year.

“My beautiful parents have set up a GoFundMe page to support me during my treatment.

“I just want to thank everyone for the beautiful calls, messages and comments following yesterday’s news. You are all so selfless and kind hearted with the offers of help I am receiving.

“Honestly taken back (sic) by how much I mean to you all. This is life changing and if I make it out alive I will view the world completely differently.

“There is so much love and compassion out there that gets often blinded by the bad chaos in the world.”

Ms Ametoglou underwent “major surgery” because of her cancer last year.

“That’s a massive thing for me, but hopefully that will mean that I’ll be in full remission,” she said.

“I’m still taking oral chemotherapy but I’ve stopped taking my IV. So hopefully after some radiation and this operation I should be in remission.

“Other than that I’m doing really well mentally and I’ve found really good coping mechanisms to deal with my cancer.”



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Melbourne bride Sarah Foster’s joyous wedding amid cancer and COVID


When Sarah Foster woke in her hospital bed she was stunned — her room was full of flowers and hanging in front of her was a sign which read “Happy Wedding Day”.Cancer would soon rob the 35-year-old of the chance of a long life with her fiance, Justin Tham.But there was no way the doctors and nurses were going to let COVID-19 deny Sarah a dream wedding.

In the ultimate act of joyful defiance over cancer, a global pandemic and restrictions that had initially outlawed their wedding, Sarah, Justin and the staff of St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne triumphed.
“It felt a bit like a day of reclaiming some normalcy in our lives — we were just able to be Justin and Sarah, a couple in love who just wanted to get married,” Sarah said in the cherished weeks between her marriage and her death.
Won over by Justin’s online dating profile and his dream of a house full of dogs, Sarah knew straight away she had met “The One”.
But not long after everything changed – Sarah had cancer and it was incurable.

“It was something we acknowledged and we were just living in the present, cherishing every moment together because we knew there was going to be a shortened lifespan,” Justin told the Herald Sun.

For the fit 33-year-old, a non-smoker and a healthy eater, it was sheer bad luck.

On July 27 last year, Justin went ahead and proposed to the love of his life – not because of the cancer, he explained, but despite it.

“It wasn’t because ‘I know she’s dying, we have to get married now’. We wanted to get married already, we knew we wanted to get married,” he said. “We never asked, ‘How much time is left?’”

The strength of the couple’s love and their determination to overcome everything to get married inspired all those around them.

After treating Sarah for almost two years, the team at St Vincent’s rallied behind the wedding.

One nurse donated a wedding gown, another made a matching face mask to complete the ensemble.

Others volunteered as caterers, organising a custom-made wedding cake and reception treats, while another staffer acted as celebrant.

Having been given an express COVID-19 check and a VIP entrance to the hospital, Justin met his bride at the end of a makeshift aisle, given away by her father.

After a 15-minute ceremony, live-streamed to their families, the newlyweds shared a kiss and a socially distanced champagne, with St Vincent staffers describing the wedding as “just beautiful”.

Two days later, the couple received the best wedding gift by far: Sarah was given the green light to return home with her new husband.

With the help of St Vincent’s and Melbourne City Mission’s palliative care teams, Sarah was given the most sacred of all honeymoons – the chance to die in love and at home.

Sarah Foster died on November 10, hoping her story would raise awareness of bowel cancer, honour those who supported her and teach everyone else the beauty of living in the moment.



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NSW rural volunteer returns after deadly cancer diagnosis


Ryan Channells wasn’t supposed to be here this Christmas.

The volunteer firefighter at Wauchope, a town in the Mid North Coast region of NSW, was diagnosed with stage four melanoma in November last year.

The terminal cancer had spread from a tiny lump in his groin – that didn’t seem to appear as an initial sun spot – and had spread through his body.

Inoperable at the time, the father-of-two was told he’d be “dead by this Christmas” this year, and immediately started preparing for the first -but not before he went back out battling bushfires the next day.

“It probably did start as a spot, the usual, and I didn’t notice it,” he said.

“I noticed it when it was a very small lump but it grew very quickly. The first doctor just got blood tests and said you’re all good, good to go.

“After being male and stubborn it took three months of my missus poking me telling me to change doctors. That GP, Dr Jon Logie, ordered biopsies and scans that week, he was amazing.

“I was a bit blasé at first and thought they would just cut it out like they did last time.”

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Mr Channells previously had a blemish size melanoma cut out years ago.

He was then referred to his oncologist Dr Georgia Ritchie who he said was equally amazing, putting him forward for a trial at Melanoma Institute Australia.

By December 5 he’d started taking the drugs which worked immediately.

“They were amazing. I had four tumours and one shrunk so much it’s disappeared,” Mr Channells said.

“The biggest one was almost the size of the fist and in two-three weeks it was halved.”

In February this year Mr Channells was finally able to have surgery where 20 lymph nodes were removed – three of them were cancerous and a fourth one had disappeared.

He has continued the treatment every three weeks, travelling to Sydney for infusions and back home in a 20-hour trip.

Mr Channells “crazy uncle” drives from the south of Sydney to Port Macquarie to collect him and do the round trip.

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In June he was back to work at his council job and he’s already been fighting more blazes this bushfire season.

“It’s still black everywhere around here,” he said.

“There’s still regrowth coming through but it’s all weeds. There’s still scars everywhere and there will be for another few years.

“It’s double devastation for the koalas.”

He’ll now get to spend Christmas with his family, partner Tarlie Parish and kids, Stella and Toby.

“It’s strange, I feel kind of numb,” he said.

“You’re stuck in middle of happiness and dread, as in I shouldn’t have been here, and wondering what could have been.”

Mostly he’s focused on spreading awareness about skin checks.

“My main thing is if you have a mole, or a dry patch of skin, get it checked,” he said.

“If you think something is wrong, don’t be afraid to get a second opinion – or be too stubborn.”

Mr Channells said he was grateful for Cancer Council NSW which provided financial support during his treatment, and everyone who donated to a fundraiser which amassed nearly $30,000.

“The financial stress was hitting me the most. I just thought, I can’t afford to die. They helped put a roof over our heads and feed our children.

“I did buy a couple of beers with it, but I think they’ll forgive me,” he laughed.

If anyone deserves a beer, it’s him.



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Labor MP Jim Chalmers diagnosed with skin cancer


Queensland Labor MP Jim Chalmers has opened about a skin cancer scare.

The opposition Treasury spokesman took to Twitter on Tuesday to reveal the shock diagnosis.

“Last week I became one of around 16,000 Australians diagnosed with skin cancer this year,” Mr Chalmers wrote.

“I’d mentioned to my doctor in passing that a darker-than-usual mole had appeared on my chest.

“Subsequent tests showed it was a melanoma.”

The father of three is booked in to have surgery on Thursday, but said he’d be “stitched up and ready to go soon after”.

Parliament will resume next week for the final two sitting fortnights of the year.



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