Cancer invites change: survivor

Cancer Support WA chief executive Mandy Becker-Knox with Queens Birthday Honour recipient Ross Taylor at Wanslea. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d402364
Cancer Support WA chief executive Mandy Becker-Knox with Queens Birthday Honour recipient Ross Taylor at Wanslea. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d402364

This was true for Mr Taylor (62) who, since being diagnosed with melanoma 20 years ago, has entrenched himself in several cancer support organisations and more recently the collaboration of cancer services at Wanslea.

His wife has also admitted that their 32-year marriage may have ended prematurely as Mr Taylor was very business-driven before his cancer journey.

Yesterday, this community work and significant service to Australia-Indonesia relations contributed to Mr Taylor being appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.

There is Cancer Support WA where he was president for three years and is now a Life Member, Breast Cancer Care WA, MelanomaWA and the Brady Cancer Support Foundation just to name a few.

The latter three groups will join Cancer Support WA at Wanslea in Cottesloe (where work on a multi million dollar renovation recently started) mid next year.

Mr Taylor said that five years ago the National Trust, which manages the State Government-owned 7430sqm site, was on the verge of selling the heritage-listed home because of the expensive upkeep.

However, he and his team of supporters lobbied Lotterywest over several years for funding to upgrade the site before his friend, the late Dorothy Brady, helped set up a trust to fund the ongoing maintenance costs.

The Town of Cottesloe approved the renovation work in 2011.

Cancer Support WA chief executive Mandy Becker-Knox said the project demonstrated the potential to combine community groups to create a meaningful organisation.

Cancer Support WA will move out of Wanslea in February and return when work is complete.

While the Wanslea project is a big achievement for Mr Taylor it was a cancer survivor who, with tears in his eyes, approached the philanthropist at a cancer lecture and told him his book Living Simply with Cancer saved his life, that has created a memory he treasures.