After surviving a shark attack, living with cancer is this man‘s new challenge
A DECADE after surviving a shark attack while surfing, Ross Taylor has returned to Knysna to focus on sharing his experiences of living with terminal cancer.
“I feel through sharing my experiences, the reality of it, I can help to alleviate the fears of others who are experiencing cancer, especially those who are going through it for the first time,” he said yesterday.
“I want to share my experience with the public through reality documentary broadcasts on social networking websites such as YouTube, MySpace, Facebook and”
The name of his new project, in which Taylor talks about his life with neuroblastoma, is called icancer.
Neuroblastoma is most often diagnosed in children and is a cancer of the sympathetic nervous system, the nerve network throughout the body that carries messages from the brain.
After leaving Knysna in 1999, Taylor said he travelled around the world four or five times.
“I started in London and ended up working in an extreme sport company, doing TV and film. I saved cash and visited family in South Africa after three years of working in London on my first round-the-world ticket.
“Just before Christmas I found the first lump in my tummy, which turned out to be neuroblastoma cancer. That was a bit of a shock. On New Year‘s Eve I had surgery, then six months of chemo, then I carried on with my round-the-world ticket,” he said.
Taylor spent years travelling and working, spending time particularly in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and England.
A year ago he returned to London to start a job in film.
“On my first day back in London, I found another lump. It was the same feeling and very disappointing as I thought that chemo and surgery had covered all the bases.
“The following day, thinking about all the processes I had gone through the first time round took away a lot of the fear. I then decided to use myself as the subject matter for the project and that‘s what I‘ve been doing this year,” he said.
“I also want to expose all the treatment options I‘ve discovered since I was given a terminal diagnosis a year ago. I don‘t take the diagnosis too seriously, I don‘t think I can, or I‘d be dead by now. Then, they gave me four to six months to live,” Taylor added.
He wants to promote the narrowing of the space between conventional and complementary treatments, saying nutrition played a large role in well-being, as did a positive attitude.