DAVID BRIDIE | Wantok Music
MELBOURNE - George Telek, one of Papua New Guinea’s best known musicians, has been diagnosed with cancer of the mouth in Australia after last month travelling to Adelaide and the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane to perform the A Bit Na Ta show.
He had a large growth on his bottom lip and inside his mouth. He was taken to doctors and then to hospital in Brisbane for examination. It was diagnosed with a malignant and aggressive tumour.
George is about to undergo major surgery at Greenslope Private Hospital to remove the cancer. The surgery will involve removing the cancerous growth, removing lymph glands in his neck and reconstructing his mouth.
Due to the nature of the cancer it will also require radiation therapy to remove any remaining cancerous areas.
George will be given the best medical treatment we can get for him. It is a stressful and emotional time for him and for all of us.
Because George is not an Australian citizen, these medical procedures will be expensive. Although internationally renowned, George is a grassroots musician who does not have the funds needed to pay for this expensive treatment.
We are calling on people who have been touched by his music to help George by linking here.
George deserves our support as his music has moved people and affected lives the world over. The most devastating thing about the location of this tumour is that it affects his ability to sing: his passion, his craft and his livelihood.
Part of our campaign is to support his treatment and the reconstruction of his mouth so he will be able to sing for many years to come.
We need to raise $60,000 to cover the costs of surgery, radiation therapy, mouth reconstruction and speech pathology.
George will not be able to perform for about six months, so any money remaining will go towards supporting him and his family while he is unable to earn an income.
Dr Kieran Rowe, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon specialising in head and neck cancer surgery, has kindly donated his fee to operate on George for surgery that will take 4-5 hours. His anaesthetist Dr Simon Samoilenko is also foregoing his fee to help out George.
How can you help?
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