LEGEND: Aussie star visits Hervey Bay cancer care centre
SHARING a laugh and a selfie yesterday, award-winning Australian actor Samuel Johnson stood shoulder to shoulder with a woman who survived breast cancer.
It was a poignant moment after the loss of his beloved sister, Connie, a mum of two, to the disease almost two years ago.
Sonya Chapman, wife of councillor Denis Chapman, was at GenesisCare to help give Johnson a tour of the building, which opened in January last year.
Since then the team has treated hundreds of people, many of whom have added their names to the trees painted in the waiting room of the centre.
Mrs Chapman smiled as she took Johnson to the spot where she wrote her name when she was fighting cancer and the two took a selfie and celebrated.
Not everyone who battles the disease will be as fortunate, as Johnson well knows.
He started the charity Love Your Sister with Connie in 2012 and the two worked tirelessly to raise funds so that other mums would get to see their children grow up.
Since his sister died, Johnson has continued the campaign to beat cancer and aims to visit towns around Australia to raise money to "kick cancer in the face".
On Thursday, he attended Maryborough Markets where he was surrounded by fans, many of whom had their own story to tell of how cancer had affected their lives.
Earlier this year, Johnson won Dancing with the Stars, in the process collecting $50,000 for Love Your Sister, and fans were happy to hold the trophy, as well as checking out his Logie award.
In addition to the markets, Johnson paid a visit to Hervey Bay's Comfort Kitchen and also gave a speech on resilience at Urangan State High School, which was a particularly moving moment.
Sharing the highs and lows of his life, he was impressed by how much the students engaged with the story and by the questions they asked.
Radiation oncologist Esther Sims was on hand for Johnson's tour of GenesisCare yesterday and she said it was great to see someone of his fame using it to put a spotlight on important issues.
She said Johnson's involvement would also demystify cancer, which could be a scary subject for many people.
Dr Sims said the centre was treating about 50 patients every day, making a huge difference in the live of those who would otherwise have to travel to Brisbane to receive treatment.
On Saturday night Johnson will be at the Beach House Hotel in Scarness for Dancing Under the Stars, which will be presented by Genesis Care.
Doors will open from 6pm, with the event to start at 6.30pm.
General admission costs $75 and includes a welcome drink upon arrival, a three-course meal and the live entertainment.