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Social Media Helps Australian Man Get Advanced Cancer Treatment

The power of social media is on full display for an Australian man who used Facebook to help find an advanced treatment for his brain cancer.

Dale Newman’s journey to the treatment began months ago when he and his wife Amber searched around the world for the life-saving specialized cancer treatment that he needed.

“I belong to a few brain tumor support groups,” Amber said. “Some of them in Australia, some of them in Canada, and then some of them were here.”

One of the comments that Amber left on a Facebook page was read by Ann Kappa, who had recently undergone treatment for the same type of cancer that Newman was battling.

“That’s the great thing about Facebook and social media,” Kappa said. “You can talk to anybody.”

Kappa ultimately tipped the Newman’s off to the Chicago Proton Center in west suburban Warrenville. There, Newman travelled all the way from Australia to complete six weeks of daily radiation treatment for his brain tumor, and he recently completed that treatment.

“I’m feeling okay,” he said. “I’ve lost a little bit of hair, but in general I’m doing well.”

The clinic is one of just two dozen in the country that offer the specialized treatment.

Throughout the entire process, the Newman and Kappa families have become lifelong friends. They spent Thanksgiving and Christmas together, toured the city of Chicago, and even celebrated the Newmans’ 10th wedding anniversary.

According to Amber, the next step in their friendship with Kappa is to convince her family to go Down Under for a visit.

“We are trying to convince them to come to Australia to visit us,” she said. “I told them it’s not that far.”

Regardless of what the future holds, the families say that they will remain in touch on the social network that started their remarkable friendship.  

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