A carpenter, electrician and driver has been left jobless after he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Key points:Tom Hensley, 38, had lung cancer in 2013, and is now fighting for a new jobThe man has been without a job since December after being laid offA family friend has helped with the family’s expensesThe father of three was diagnosed in January with stage 4 lung cancer, but he was not told the cancer was stage 3.
Tom Hengley, 37, has been living in a remote house on his property in the Hunter region for the past six months.
“I was told he was on stage 3 lung cancer when he got the diagnosis.
That’s a bit hard to get on with,” he said.”
It’s a hard job to get off.
It’s not easy for anybody to get their life back on track.”
The father-of-three said the family had been relying on the kindness of strangers for support.
“There’s been people who’ve given us a little bit of money to pay the bills,” he explained.
“We have to find a way to live without having to do the job.”
Tom said the money would not be enough to support his family.
“They’ve put up with me for years and years, they’ve taken care of me, but when it’s the cancer I’ve got, I can’t afford that,” he lamented.
“For the last six months I’ve been living off my pension.”
Tom’s sister said she was relieved when she heard the news, but said she feared it would be the last time she saw her brother.
“He’s been living on my trust, he’s been caring for me.
He’s a good family man,” she said.
Tom’s brother has been given $5,000 to help pay for a car, but the money has not been enough to cover the cost of the treatment.
“At this stage it’s not enough to make a living,” he added.
“Tom’s been working his whole life and now we can’t even make a few hundred dollars a week.”
So we’re struggling.
“Tom has been battling for a job for more than two years, but despite the best efforts of friends, family and support network, he is unable to find work.”
His friends have all been giving him support, he knows he’s not getting paid,” he described.”
But people just don’t know how hard he’s had to go through.
“The support network is very small, it’s been like a family to me.”
Tom, who was diagnosed at the age of 38 with stage 3 cancer, said the loss of his family had left him with no hope.
“All the friends I’ve made in the last year, they all come out to help, but no-one has come and helped me with anything,” he recounted.
“If I get a job now, I’m just looking for a place to live and I don’t want to be in the same situation as my wife.”
Tom and his wife, Claire, are planning to hold a public fundraiser on Monday in hopes of raising enough money to help him with his medical costs.
“This is my life and I love it, but I need a job to be able to live,” he told the ABC.
“What are the odds that I’ll be able do this again?”
He is also hoping to raise $10,000 by Sunday to help cover his treatment.
Topics:employment,business-economics-and-finance,health,work,community-and/or-society,housing,australiaContact Rebecca AnderdaleMore stories from New South Wales