Award the perfect tonic for Cheung

WHEN Roxanne Cheung's mother Pamela was diagnosed with cancer, she knew how much both their lives would change.

But she was determined to finish her Bachelor of Medicine and is now in her final year.

``I didn't defer because Mum wanted me to become a doctor or complete as much of my degree as I could before she died,'' Miss Cheung said.

Pamela Cheung died just over a year ago after five years of treatment for ovarian and breast cancer.

Yesterday, the Cancer Council presented Miss Cheung with a Seize the Day award.

The award is given to people aged 16 to 25 involved in post-secondary education who have been directly or indirectly affected by cancer.

Since 2006, more than $170,000 has been given to 126 students towards the cost of their education.

This year, there are 25 recipients.

The award will allow Miss Cheung to visit her father, buy textbooks and medical equipment, and attend student conferences.

``I feel very lucky to receive it,'' she said.

``As soon as you hear the word cancer it begins the grieving process - you grieve for your future and you grieve for the mortality you face.

``The Cancer Council are a group of people with lots of services available regardless of your reaction to cancer. They're able to pre-empt any services you might need and serve as a reminder that other people are or have been in your position.''

Cancer+ co-ordinator Karen Rogers emphasised the importance of the Seize the Day awards and expressed her appreciation for the Tasmanian community's financial donations in helping those affected by cancer.

``It's not only giving people money for university or polytechnic study, it's also acknowledging their hardships and giving them encouragement to fulfil future goals,''  she said.

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