OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE: Barb Corser with Pickles the parrot from St John's Kindy.
OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE: Barb Corser with Pickles the parrot from St John's Kindy. Matt Collins

Region's top employee shares cancer journey

WHEN Barb Corser found out she was voted the South Burnett's most outstanding employee, she didn't understand what all the fuss was about.

The much-loved St John's Kindergarten team member was the popular choice in the South Burnett Times People's Choice Awards for the region's most outstanding employee.

But as far as Barb is concerned, turning up at the kindy each day is anything but work.

"I started as a volunteer for a couple of months," she said.

"I have been here now for two-and-a-half years."

The award was a nice change for Barb who hasn't had a lot of good news over the past five years.

In 2014, she was diagnosed with stage-three breast cancer.

"I spent a lot of time at home recuperating," she said.

"After that I felt well enough to give something a crack."

It just so happened that the kindy job came up at the same time.

 

OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE: Barb Corser with St John's kindy kids, Juliet Fechner, Sophie Gottke, Lucy Moseling and Thomas Ferdinands and Pickles the parrot.
OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEE: Barb Corser with St John's kindy kids Juliet Fechner, Sophie Gottke, Lucy Moseling and Thomas Ferdinands and Pickles the parrot. Matt Collins

"I thought if nothing else, it will get me back into a rhythm of a workplace situation," Barb said.

But just when she thought things were all falling back into place, Barb and her family got the news late last year they were dreading.

"In October last year I was re-diagnosed," she said.

"It is terminal now."

But the brave Kingaroy woman is just getting on with business as usual.

"As a Christian I have handed it over to God," she said.

"I don't worry about anything unless I have to deal with it. Worrying doesn't get you anywhere."

While she was extremely grateful to everyone who voted for her in the South Burnett Times People's Choice Awards for most outstanding employee, Barb said it was a pleasure to go to work each day.

"I love working here with the kids," she said.

"When I go out to see the kids, there is a bunch of them that want to give you a hug.

"They are so awesome. I get so much out of it. It really is just as good for me as it is for them."

And this is evident as Barb is only paid for six hours each week, but she works full-time hours.

When asked why she gives so much of her time, she said, "first and foremost, I get something out of it myself".

"I am doing something miraculous," she said.

When advised of the cancer's return, Barb remained ever-positive.

"I can't complain," she said.

"I was kind of expecting it to come back."

She said there was a weird comfort in knowing the cancer had returned.

"There is no looking over my shoulder any more," she said.

"It is not going away short of a miracle. Just have to get on with it."

The illness has meant Barb now appreciates what she has each day.

"I have no pain. I feel fantastic," she said.

"I really have nothing to complain about. My kids are healthy, my husband has a job. We are all happy."

Barb has been told she has at least two years before the cancer takes over and she plans to make the most of it.

"My medical oncologist assures me that the medicine is getting better," she said.

"I am looking at two years. Anything I can get over that and I will be stoked.

"It could be a lot of worse. So many people have got it worse than me."

Barb doesn't have an extensive bucket list, other than spending as much quality time as possible with her family.

"I'd like to see snow. We are actually going to Tasmania in July to do that," she said.

"I have spent so much time watching and playing Fortnite with my boys...

"I am just showing an interest in things they are interested in. I hope when I go that's what they will remember."

When she found out she had won the People's Choice Award for most outstanding employee, Barb said she was overwhelmed.

"I am not one to make a big show," she said.

There are loads of people working in the background that put in so much time and effort.

"I am genuinely joyfully happy here."