Jason Pudsey ... the Suffolk Park man wants to make people aware of the options open to them if they are diagnosed with a melanoma.
Jason Pudsey ... the Suffolk Park man wants to make people aware of the options open to them if they are diagnosed with a melanoma.

Jason’s healthy living defies cancer prognosis

As you can expect, being given three to six months to live after being diagnosed as having an aggressive melanoma came as a bit of a shock to Suffolk Park’s Jason Pudsey.

He couldn’t understand how a little cut on a freckle-like mark on his right forearm could lead to this. But it had.

The cut just wouldn’t heal and the melanoma diagnosis came from a biopsy after visits to several doctors and skin specialists.

That was three years ago and it was devastating news for Jason, 39, who at the time was an associate professor in sociology and history at Flinders University in Adelaide.

And the fact that he was told by his doctor that it was a ‘bad one’ didn’t make it any better.

Since that diagnosis he has had four brain tumours removed, with the tumours in his liver and lungs stable for the last 18 months.

While he did get ‘really, really sick’, Jason has long passed the ‘three to six months’ prognosis and he puts it down to the body-mind regime of a raw food diet, yoga, meditation and walking he adopted after putting his considerable research skills to use.

He admits in the initial stages it wasn’t easy and he asked the usual ‘why me’ questions and at one stage when he was ‘really, really sick’, he wanted to give up.

But when he thought of the consequences of that on the people around him, he didn’t.

It eventually led him to move to the Byron Shire permanently in late 2007 for its ‘healing environment’.

“I am good and healthy at the moment and officially have gone way past where I should have,” he said.

As well as sticking to his body-mind regime, Jason is writing and operating a small media production company and has recently started up the Byron Region Melanoma Support Group.

It’s a group, he said, that offered people diagnosed with melanoma – among other things – emotional support, hope, dietary support and networking.

He said he wanted to make people aware of what options were open to them if they were diagnosed with a melanoma.

“I didn’t understand how skin cancer could kill,” he said.

“It was a tiny little freckle (on his arm). It was not a mole. I had always associated melanoma with a mole.”

The next meeting of the support group is today (Thursday) at 2.30 pm at Jason’s home at 19A Beech Drive, Suffolk Park.

If you want to know more, call him on 66859918, or 0409783818, or email puds0001@flinders.edu.au.

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