A DIAGNOSIS of terminal cancer was the last thing Mt Eliza father of two Geoff Nyssen was expecting three weeks after turning 40.
Life was on track in 2014 for the corporate high-flyer who lived a “normal” life, focussing on success and “getting ahead”.
That was until a diagnosis of terminal blood cancer turned his life upside down.
Inspirational in so many ways, Mr Nyssen has met the challenge head on and is re-directing his energies into raising money for Myeloma Australia to support the carers and families of multiple myeloma patients.
In between working part time as an environmental engineer and undergoing chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, the 43-year-old has gathered the help of friends and family to organise a Mt Eliza Run & Fun Festival 7.30am – 3.30pm on Sunday 26 March at Emil Madsen Reserve.
“It’s disempowering to be diagnosed with cancer, but I feel that I was very lucky not to have lost a limb, as so many myeloma sufferers do,” he said.
While the future is unclear, today’s new normal for Mr Nyssen involves trying to be as deliberate and useful with his time as possible.
He connects with people through online writing and public presentations, and shares stories about how he has used nutrition, exercise, meditation, gratitude and goal setting to derive a purposeful life for himself.
He has prioritised time with his family and is grateful to be able to walk his two young children to school, listening, talking and learning on the way.
“For all of us, time can disappear so quickly and so I try to prioritise and do things that are meaningful.
“I don’t subscribe to the fact that I won’t be here in two years, or 10 years, or whatever the textbooks say, but I do want to make sure I spend whatever time I have left doing things that matter.”
Mr Nyssen said he hoped the festival, which will include activities for children and adults, will be an opportunity for people to connect with each other for a good cause.
Read more about Mr Nyssen’s life at www.geoffnyssen.com
Please go to www.mymounteliza.org.au for more information