For Billy Mitchell, being able to stay at Daffodil House was an incredible saving and helped keep his mind off his prostate cancer.
Operated by the Cancer Society since 1989, Daffodil House in Dunedin is a “home away from home” for out of-town cancer patients and their families.
Mr Mitchell stayed there from July 12 to August 31, 2018, while receiving radiation treatment.
“If Daffodil House wasn’t there, and the Cancer Society wasn’t there, I’d have had to stay in a hotel, which would’ve cost me thousands of dollars,” he said.
“I cannot speak highly enough of what they do and how they deal with the daily routine.”
As a way of saying thank you to the Cancer Society and Daffodil House, the Weston man organised a quiz night last month.
He thought he might be able to raise $4000, but it just got “bigger and bigger and bigger”, supported by more than 100 businesses around North Otago and the 200 people who entered.
The $8000 he raised from the quiz night would go towards the Cancer Society’s work in the Oamaru community and also Daffodil House in Dunedin.
“It was amazing what they donated – a massive thank you to everyone,” he said.
“I got a massive kick out of it.”
Mr Mitchell was diagnosed with prostate cancer in June last year, after a routine visit to his doctor.
“The nurse looked at my records and she said ‘you’ve not had a prostate test in 12 months’,” he said.
“So I went the next day, they got the test that day, rang me up and said ‘you better come in now’ – and that was it.”
Having gone through radiation treatment, he still receives a hormone injection once every three months.
“To be honest, it knocks the hell out of me,” he said.
“But next week I see my oncologist and hopefully he’s going to say ‘Bill, you’re all clear’,” he said.
Cancer Society Otago Southland Division chief executive Dr Rachael Hart said Mr Mitchell’s quiz night was an inspiring event.
“Thank you to Billy, Irene and their family, and to the many businesses and people that donated their time, products, energy and money to make the event a success,” Dr Hart said.
“With no direct government funding, the Cancer Society relies on support from the communities in which we work.
“It was special to see how the community rallied around Billy.”