Brian Loughlin was an accountant for all of his working life, and in retirement, he joined a creative writing group at University 3A to improve his writing skills. It was after a trip to China with his wife Pat in 1983 when Brian first started putting his thoughts on paper. He says the Yangtze River was so impressive that he was moved to write a poem about it.
Over the years, Brian’s enthusiasm for writing has continued undiminished. His poetry and prose are purposely upbeat despite the tremendous sadness of losing four family members to cancer.
“My wife died in 2012 after three cancer diagnoses over twelve years, one of our daughters died of leukaemia in 1984, and then both my brother and my sister died of cancer. My son Maurice had cancer in 2009 but he is currently free of this terrible disease.”
Brian says that he made a conscious effort to maintain a positive attitude while his family were going through cancer treatments, as he was there to support them. Brian also believes the positive attitude, and encouragement received from friends, are what kept him going each time one of his beloved family didn’t survive cancer.
At age 90, Brian decided that he could do more towards contributing to cancer research. After hearing about the Australian Cancer Research Foundation at a Cuppa for Cancer event, Brian selected 50 of his poems and prose writings and then designed a book and its cover. The book was published in 2017 by the University of Wollongong Printery, and Brian is donating all sale proceeds to ACRF.
“I like that ACRF has a Medical Research Advisory Committee, headed up by Professor Frazer (co-creator of the cervical cancer vaccine), and the committee recommends where the money goes for best effect. I think that is a better way of handling donated funds.”
Although his life hasn’t been without struggles, Brian says that he still remains positive and continues to attend University 3A and his church.
If you would like a copy of Brian’s great book (his description!) please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in contact with Brian. The book costs $10 plus postage.
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