‘Skin cancer cost me my job’: Fired after just 2 hours
The last thing Brett Gibbs thought he’d be fired for was the way his skin cancers made him look.
Mr Gibbs was first diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer 30 years ago.
He has had more than 100 spots removed from his body – most of them from the neck and face.
Fearing stares and humiliation, the Cotton Tree man avoided public places, opted to work night shifts, and never smiled or had his photo taken.
He said the day his skin cancers cost him his job in June 2018 was one of the lowest points of his life.
“After two hours in my new security job, the manager informed me that due to my appearance, being the lesions on my face and head, I couldn’t work there,” Mr Gibbs said.
“As anyone could imagine being told that, I was devastated.
“The ride home that day was the loneliest I’ve ever felt.”
Since then, Mr Gibbs has had non-invasive therapy called volumetric modulated arc therapy.
The cutting-edge radiation technology is being rolled out across GenesisCare clinics as a novel therapy option for types of non-melanoma skin cancer.
It helped the now 57-year-old regain his confidence to follow through on his promise to his wife and have their wedding photos retaken.
“I now feel that I have a new lease on life again,” he said.
“I can confidently explore what’s ahead in the future with my wife Genevieve and not have people staring at me anymore.
“I always tell my kids, life’s a running race with hurdles you have to clear every day.
“Sometimes you clip one and you fall, but it’s how you get up that matters.
“My skin cancers have been my ultimate hurdle and now I’m finally able to bounce back.”
About two-in-three Sunshine Coasters will develop non-melanoma skin cancer before they turn 70, according to a statement from GenesisCare.
It has five times the incidence of all other cancers combined.