What’s your why?…John’s Story

An opportunity to give something back to Cancer Council Queensland after he received support and knowledge during his own prostate cancer journey in 2009 was the catalyst for John Cartwright’s volunteering career.

“I pack and dispatch orders for the mail room. It’s something I’ve been doing for 2 years after I put my hand up to volunteer at a prostate cancer support group meeting.”


John sees the real value behind the learning opportunities Cancer Council has granted him. His most enjoyable moments spent here all involve gaining more and more knowledge. John believes that information distribution is the first step to the getting on top of cancer.

“Last week I attended a seminar at the Princess Alexandra hospital where we had a look at new melanoma-detecting technology. I appreciate these opportunities and learn from them.”

“I hope my volunteering will achieve dissemination of information. If people have knowledge they have some degree of control and if they don’t have control then combatting cancer isn’t going to work.”

“When I was first diagnosed with cancer, the search for information was a great part of our support group. We took part in a mindfulness group, run by the Cancer Council Queensland as a trial and it has since been instituted as a support service.”

“I knew probably Cancer Council Queensland has the best education and information on any form of cancer and support is available if you ask for it.”

Time, a willingness to commit, whether you do it because you want to give back or whether you do it for a friend or a relative who has had cancer are the main things John thinks are necessary for anyone thinking of volunteering.

“You don’t need personal knowledge of anything cancer-related because the knowledge is all there and it’s a worthwhile cause to volunteer for if you have the time. You can help more people as a volunteer than as an individual.”