08 Dec 2023 | Participation |
Stampy's cancer story and why he's supporting The Longest Day
When John Stamp could play the game of golf, he loved the social aspect of it.
“I really enjoyed the time with friends, and the fun you could have whilst playing with likeminded people,” John said.
“We call it the sport for life, and it is.”
A member of the Peninsula Kingswood Golf Club in Frankston for more than 20 years, John tried to play every few weeks.
John, 67, has also been a part of the golfing industry for more than 50 years, predominantly managing golf clubs.
“I just really enjoyed being out on a golf course, and being in the midst of nature,” John added.
A Places to Play Advisor for Golf Australia, John, known to many as "Stampy", was first diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2012.
“It was around this time that I didn’t really have the energy to play golf, and I haven’t really played much since,” he added.
It was also in 2012 that John was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
“Subsequently, the urologist performed a prostate biopsy and he removed quite a few lymph nodes from my groin and lower abdomen. I was effectively being treated for two different cancers at once,” John said.
He underwent extensive chemotherapy through 2013 and was regularly monitored for the prostate cancer and the Hodgkins.
In 2018, John's Hodgkins lymphoma relapsed and after more chemotherapy he had a stem cell transplant at Peter Mac.
“When I was diagnosed again in 2018, I had a problem during my stem cell transplant when my kidneys failed," he said.
"Fortunately, the team at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre were able to get my kidneys functioning again, but the damage to my kidneys was quite significant and permanent."
Earlier this year, due to John’s poorly functioning kidneys and unsatisfactory blood results, his haematologist ordered more tests.
“My haematologist ordered some more tests, including a bone marrow test, which found out that I had chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia or CMML,” John added.
John believes having a positive attitude whilst living with cancer makes a significant difference to one’s wellbeing.
“I often reflect on seeing children suffer terribly from cancer, and I think to myself that I’ve been fortunate to live a pretty full life, though I’m not ready to go just yet!” John said.
It's been a passion of John's for many years to support various cancer appeals including The Longest Day, a unique golf challenge that aims to raise vital funds to support the Cancer Council.
He is also passionate about charities that support children with cancer such as Challenge which is a wonderful organisation that has been supported by Australian golf in various ways for many years.
There are more 1600 golf courses in Australia and collectively they support and raise significant funds for various causes, with cancer appeals being at the forefront as beneficiaries.
John has helped his fellow staff members take part in The Longest Day by keeping them fed and watered throughout the 72-hole day.
“I feel blessed to work with many people who have taken part in The Longest Day. One staff member of Golf Australia had played very little golf, yet she took up the challenge to play the 72 holes to raise money for the Cancer Council.
“She was absolutely brilliant. She suffered without a murmur, and she just kept on pushing herself for the cause,” John said.
Cancer has not only impacted John and his family, it has touched his colleagues and the golfing community.
“My family, wife; Melanie, our daughter Bianca, and stepdaughters Rebekah and Annaliese, have been incredibly supportive of me during my journey, but it’s definitely impacted them,” John said.
“One of my closest friends at work has had lots of skin cancer treatment. He typifies my observation that many people with cancer remain amazingly strong,” he added.
“I lost one of my brothers to cancer and a good friend also succumbed to cancer before he was 30."
Jarrod Lyle, a professional Australian golfer, was first diagnosed with leukaemia when he was 17-years-old and again a few years later. He suffered a third recurrence of the disease in 2018.
“In 2018, when I was undergoing my stem cell transplant at Peter Mac, I saw a photo of Jarrod in a newspaper holding up a little toy cricket bat with 100 on it,” John remembers.
“It represented 100 days since his last transplant. Jarrod was still in hospital and I understand that was his third time having a stem cell transplant. Sadly, Jarrod passed away shortly after.
“When you think about people being stoic – he was enormously stoic. He was a cause of motivation to me as I knew he had been through so much yet always projected a positive outlook."
John said everyone needed to support Cancer Council’s innovative work in cancer research, prevention and support.
“Given my exposure to the sun, I’ve been extremely fortunate that over the years, I haven’t had any skin cancers, but as golfers back in the 1970s, my generation weren’t good at protecting our skin until the Slip Slop Slap campaign started.
:Through the work of the Cancer Council, more golfers are now aware of the dangers of the sun."
John highly recommends people to sign-up to The Longest Day now.
“The more that participate as players and financial supporters of The Longest Day the more funds that can be raised in support of The Cancer Council to assist in the great work they do,” John said.
“Cancer has touched many people in golf. It not only effects the person diagnosed with cancer, but it also effects their entire family. We don’t want to see anybody suffer, and anything we can do to help people with cancer, we’ll do it."
“Play golf and support a cancer-free future.”
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