Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate is known for his friendly smile, witty banter and inspiring words, however, he learned last year that cancer doesn’t discriminate
Cancers stops at nothing. And Mayors aren’t immune to the deadly disease. Mayor Tom Tate has recently fought a very personal battle, bowel cancer.
The Mayor had no symptoms, he lived a healthy life like most Gold Coasters and enjoyed fitness at the gym and ate reasonably well. If it wasn’t for the Mayoress Ruth Tate’s health scare in Singapore on June 26, 2017 he may have not discovered the cancer so soon.
“It later led me to have a full medical check-up. That was what picked up the growth in my bowel,” says the Mayor.
Once he got the news no one wants to hear, his thoughts and fears immediately were surrounding his family.
“It was my thoughts for my family, rather than my personal situation, that frightened me the most,” he says.
“I simply did not want to have them again experience the raw emotions we all did, when Ruth almost passed away in 2017. Knowing that Ruth had survived severe cardiac arrest, and was now on the recovery, made it even more important that I did everything possible to beat my illness.”
And that he did. While post-surgery there were complications, the Mayor’s faith saw him through any obstacles.
“We had complications post-surgery and I had to be placed in ICU. They then undertook emergency surgery as there was significant internal bleeding. That was a frightening time, no doubt,” he says.
“I put my faith in My Lord and left it in His hands. That’s when I felt calm, not because I was guaranteed a cure but because, whatever was to happen was His will.”
The Mayor’s ordeal is now over, however, he has learnt a lot from the experience and will take those lessons with him as he moves forward.
“I feel great, but I will never again take my health for granted,” he says.
“I am having regular check-ups, eating a lot better, training four days a week at the gym and trying to be more conscious of what goes into my body.”
Mayor Tom Tate hopes his experience will help others place their health at the forefront of their minds and prioritise active, healthy living.
“Don’t take your health for granted. If you think you are doing it for yourself, think more broadly … and do it for your family. Get regular heath check-ups and live a physically active life.”