Walk in remembrance of brain cancer victim Greg Lange

From left: Nick Daniels, Jared Lange, Esmond Lange, Jacqui Daniels (seated), Mary de Verteuil, Tom Daniels, Caleb Lange, Kevin Lange (seated) and Sophie Daniels.                d446378
From left: Nick Daniels, Jared Lange, Esmond Lange, Jacqui Daniels (seated), Mary de Verteuil, Tom Daniels, Caleb Lange, Kevin Lange (seated) and Sophie Daniels.        d446378

WHEN an ailing Greg Lange moved home to Perth in April 2010, he would often go for a walk.

He could only make it across the road, by that time his aggressive brain cancer had robbed him of some of his mobility, but beneath the paper bark trees at Mary’s Beach in Rossmoyne he would sit on the bench that would become his namesake, and watch the water lap at the shore.

Occasionally his then three-year-old son Oliver would join him from Melbourne, where he was living with Greg’s television presenter wife, Carrie Bickmore.

On December 27 that year, Greg lost his 10-year battle with the disease, which kills more Australians annually than any other disease.

He was 34.

Greg’s uncle Esmond Lange said Greg strived to establish a legacy early after prognosis.

“From the very beginning when he was first diagnosed, he went for a series of operations and we were optimistic there could be a cure, but as the years passed it became clearer it wouldn’t have a happy ending,” he said.

“That’s when Greg changed from trying to get a cure to trying to focus on his life and leaving a legacy for his son and his family.”

It was bleak for the family, who had experienced it before when Greg’s father Alastair died in 1985, also from a brain tumour.

“We got a lot more time out of Gregory than we were originally told, that’s part of brain cancer – you don’t know what you are dealing with,” Esmond said.

Last Saturday the family held its second Punxatorny’s Walk for Brain Cancer along the Canning River to raise awareness and money for research.

Greg’s sister Jacqui Daniels said the theme was tribute to Greg’s favourite Bill Murray film, Groundhog Day.

Last year 100 people participated in the 5km walk and 2015 drew double the crowd and double the money, with more than $10,000 raised.

“When Greg was going through cancer he said living with it was like Groundhog Day every day (so) we thought that was an appropriate name,” Mrs Daniels said.

The family praised the community for their support.

“It’s beautiful, we have a Facebook (page) and we spread the word… it’s lovely we have people donating,” Mrs Daniels said.

Esmond Lange added it was time brain cancer became part of the national conversation.