MEDAL of Australia (OAM) recipients Alan and Gabrielle Moran of Werrington Downs have both beaten cancer and used their battles to help others.
Mr Moran, 79, and Mrs Moran, 70, have been recognised for their services to health, in particular, supporting cancer patients.
‘‘Last year I was diagnosed with breast cancer, but after eight months’ treatment I’m turning it into a positive experience,’’ Mrs Moran said.
‘‘There’s nothing as devastating as chemotherapy, but it teaches you a lot about yourself.
‘‘I was fortunate to have Alan look after me; my husband has been an absolute rock.’’
Mr Moran had his own battle with the disease when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2000.
‘‘For years Gabrielle and I have been involved in charitable work with organisations, such as the
Wilmot Neighbourhood Centre in Mt Druitt.’’
A fitter and turner by trade, Mr Moran has also volunteered for trade union activities and with drug and alcohol agencies.
‘‘I once bumped into a chap I hadn’t seen for 30 years; he thanked me for helping him get straight and he’s now married with grown-up children,’’ he said.
‘‘It makes me proud I can help.’’
They said they both felt overwhelmed by their Queen’s Birthday honours.
‘‘I married Alan 32 years ago and we’ve always enjoyed each other’s company and always support each other,’’ Mrs Moran said.
Mr Moran’s first wife died in 1978, leaving him with nine children.
‘‘It was hard but I had a responsibility to my children,’’ he said.
‘‘Marrying again, to Gabrielle, made a hell of a difference to both of us.’’
Mrs Moran said she decided not to have any children herself, but has found much happiness in her pet dogs and in community activities such as volunteer tutoring.
‘‘If you can do a random act of kindness, why not?’’ she said.
‘‘If we can put something back into the community, let’s do it.’’