'Amazing young man' loses battle with bone cancer
A LOVING Gympie family has lost the battle for their son's life this month, with the tragic passing of 16-year-old former Gympie High student Euan Doss.
Euan, his devoted father Paul, mother Ruth and sister Elurie, have appeared in the pages of The Gympie Times since Euan was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, more than two years ago.
The shy, polite, loving and courageous teenager touched many hearts throughout his battle, in particular that of Justine Christerson, who helps support the families of rural patients forced to spend extended periods of time in city hospitals.
Justine's post on Facebook at the weekend was a moving tribute to the beautiful young man and his devastated family:
"This week was a very sad week," it began. "There are so many families who are cancer families and so many followers of this page that are saddened by the news of Euan's passing.
"I first met Euan and his Dad in February, 2013... I remember seeing this bright-eyed young man sitting in the bed with his father sitting next to him with a massive weight on his shoulders.
"When I spoke with Paul he assured me he would call me if he needed anything.
"Two weeks later approximately Paul did call me after realising having a few home-cooked meals was more important than hurting his pride for asking.
"I am so glad he did. What a friendship we formed. Euan at 12 years old was a very quiet and seemed shy young man, quite opposite to his Dad.
"We would catch up weekly, I would drop off meals and snacks, Euan loved the junk food.
"Euan was always the polite host, greet me at the door, clear a space to sit, offer drinks etc."
Euan's treatment included removing the cancer bone from his arm, replacing it with a donor bone and a bone from his leg.
"Never did Euan complain, and I sincerely mean that. I would ask Euan how he is and he would respond with 'I am okay' or I am alright.
"Often he was sore or feeling unwell or vomiting because of his treatment. Gosh he was always so considerate, politely excusing himself to go and vomit in the bathroom.
"Quite an amazing young man. We nearly lost him after his op as he went into respiratory arrest.
"Euan missed his Mum and sister and you could see he enjoyed their visits. After 12 months the Doss boys were finally leaving Brisbane and going home.
"His parents were very proud at how he kept up with his studies and didn't get behind.
"He did so well.
"When a family returns home from cancer treatment they are on 'maintenance' this means that regular scans were required three monthly to check for any cancer spots.
"Euan's first scan detected there was once again cancer and it was near his lungs. It was thankfully operable."
But then, in February this year, a further scan revealed the cancer was back, aggressive and not responding to treatment.
"Euan took this news incredibly well. Perhaps his convictions of his faith gave him the peace and calm he needed," Justine wrote on her FB page.
She visited Euan for the last time about a month ago.
"As I was leaving, Euan and I embraced; (I) knew it was the last time I would have that precious moment."
To read Justine's full tribute to Euan and his family, and the many other tributes, visit the Facebook page Breaking Down the Barriers for Rural Patients in City Hospitals - Brisbane.