In 2004 the 50-year-old was diagnosed with a form of leukaemia that led him to the brink of death.
“My weight dropped to 58 kilos and I was put in an induced coma for seven days. I had to say goodbye to my family,” he said.
Five years later John is in remission with a renewed passion for life, and the whole experience has left him with a strong desire to help others fighting the disease.
That’s why he is doing all he can to support this weekend’s Cancer Council Relay for Life fundraiser at Red Devil Park, Byron Bay.
As caretaker of Red Devil Park, he happily agreed for organisers to hold the event there.
He will also help entertain the crowd with his band Blak Water.
Relay for Life will see teams of 10 to 15 people taking turns walking or running around Red Devil Park from 2.30pm on Saturday to 8am Sunday.
The aim is to keep at least one person on the track for the entirety of the event and team members are encouraged to raise $100 each.
There will be a festival atmosphere around the event, with music, entertainment and food.
Many participants will pitch their tents and stay overnight.
John Fysh will help open the event by cutting the ribbon with fellow cancer survivors Marg Smith, Cheryl Edwards and Barb Pinter.
Relay for Life Organiser Liz Parks said the first lap would be a lap of honour for cancer survivors and carers and this was one of the highlights of the event.
Another highlight will be the Candlelit Ceremony of Hope that will see up to 500 candles lit around the track at 6pm on Saturday.
“It’s all about celebrating cancer survival,” Ms Parks said.
She said Relay for Life was a major fundraiser for The Cancer Council and last year the Byron Shire event raised $65,000 for cancer research, education, support services and advocacy.
John Fysh said he could not think of a better cause than The Cancer Council.
“At some stage in their life everyone will be touched by cancer. By helping them we’re helping to save lives,” he said.
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