Wednesday 18th May 2022

Head & Neck Cancer: “Beyond Five” Ambassadorship.2018.130.

Head & Neck Cancer:”Beyond Five” Ambassadorship.2018.130.

Last week I wrote a post called Farewell and Hello. It was pretty long so I stopped at Farewell promising to be back for Hello. Here we go!

Regular followers here know that I was diagnosed with head and neck cancer (squamous cell carcinoma) in my upper gums and under the top lip. The whole story is here, in posts, from the day I was told until the recent post on adjusting my eating requirements when I am out of the house.

Hello, I am now a Beyond Five Ambassador!

How this came about was partly after this day in October 2018 when I was back at ‘my’ hospital Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, but I had offered earlier this year if there was any way I could help spread the news about head and cancer awareness I would like to do so. I had already been sharing the work of Beyond Five here on the blog for World Head and Neck Cancer Day 2018.

Following that day, the Board of Beyond Five met, Sr Froggatt and Professor Clark are board members and Nadia Rosin is Manager, Business & Communications,  and I then received a formal letter of invitation to become a Beyond Five Ambassador.

Role of Community Ambassador

  • • Share your personal head and neck cancer story for use in Beyond Five communication e.g. website, social media portals etc.
  • • Raise awareness of Beyond Five through family, friends, other personal connections.
  • • Where possible, attend events e.g. patient support group meetings, education days to help raise awareness of Beyond Five.
  • • Support Beyond Five grant applications where relevant e.g. as a consumer representative.
  • • Provide feedback to Beyond Five to help us improve and develop the way we work.

About Beyond Five.


Beyond Five was established in December 2014 and is Australia’s only not-for-profit organisation supporting patients with head and neck cancer, caregivers, family and health professionals.

Beyond Five was established to provide evidence based, comprehensive, easy to understand and easy to access information to everyone, regardless of where they live.

Beyond Five is the first organisation in Australia supporting patients and their families through their cancer journey, from diagnosis to treatment and life after cancer.


Beyond Five’s mission is to improve the quality of life of everyone affected by head and neck cancer through education and access to support and to raise awareness of head and neck cancer nationally. We are committed to working collaboratively with all specialties across Australia to achieve our mission.


I have joined the inaugural Ambassador, Julie McCrossin and Marty Doyle too. Their stories and mine, can now be found here on the Beyond Five site. There will be more ‘thinking time’ for my involvement and what form it may take as everyone is going to be on a break soon. We are getting together in February 2019. I look forward to helping where I can especially now I am post almost all of my cancer treatments and now in ‘check-up and check-in’ mode.

I know that I am keen and ready to help others learn more about head and neck cancer as it is not well-known. In fact I had no idea you could get squamous cell carcinoma inside your mouth (and other areas of the skin inside the head & neck region, till my day of diagnosis in May 2017.

And here we are sending Season’s Greetings.

I wish that no-one had cancer of any kind, of course, but the fact of life is we do. I want as many do, to help pay back the time and effort and research that has gone into the amazing surgeries and mouth reconstructions I had. That I can smile and eat well again is testament to the wonderful work of my team and their integration of allied professionals too. I have written posts about how many helped get me well again. Now, it’s onward….and to say I am glad to be an Ambassador for Beyond Five is an understatement. It is an honour and a privilege to be in this new role.

I want to do the role justice, and help others as I too have been helped.

Thank you to the Board of Beyond Five for entrusting me with this role as your Ambassador.


Joining with Sue and Leanne here for Midlife Share the Love and with Leanne here for Lovin Life link up.




  1. This is such a wonderful opportunity for you Denyse and you will make a fabulous Ambassador. You were already doing the job! Thank you for raising awareness of Head & Neck Cancer. There are so many different types of Cancer that the lesser known ones don’t get the attention they deserve. I’m sure you will change that. Thank you for sharing at #MLSTL and I’ll be sharing on social media. Have a great week! xx

    • Thank you Sue for your endorsement and your understanding of the need for this group of cancers to have more awareness in the community. You are a great supporter in this and I thank you kindly.

      Denyse x

  2. What a great way to get involved! I’ve learned a lot about head and neck cancer from your blog already, and I have no doubt you will do a great job educating others.


    • Thank you Bethany. That IS good to know from a new-to-my blog reader and commenter. I do try to write topics that are not related but this one is needing more awareness in the community so I will hopefully be able to help spread message more broadly.

      Denyse x

  3. Denyse I am always amazed at how you’ve turned your cancer journey into such an inspiring and positive story. You’ve shared so openly and honestly with us and I think you’ll be the perfect ambassador for Beyond Five. Looking forward to seeing where this takes you in 2019.
    MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • Thank you Leanne, that is very kind of you to say. I guess the teacher-in-me is not far from the surface and once I started to see my way through the various recoveries I knew I needed to do more if I could.

      Becoming an ambassador is one very good way I believe.

      Denyse x

  4. Fantastic Denyse. There are quite a few commitments to being an Ambassador but you’ll be marvellous and just as you’ve tackled blogging with verve and enthusiasm, so too will you approach your Ambassadorship. You are an inspiration to many in the way you’ve turned tragedy and turmoil and pain into a positive outcome. Looking forward to your ‘Ambassadoring’ journey in 2019.#MLSTL and shared on SM

    • Thanks so much Johanna. I look forward to 2019 with a different and challenging focus about Head and Neck cancer. Helping to ‘spread’ the word.

      Denyse x

  5. Huge congrats to you Denyse, this is a well deserved role for you and I’m sure you’ll do it justice! Such good news. Shared on SM #mlstl

    • Thank you Debbie, I am looking forward to seeing how the role unfolds for me in terms of learning more myself and then helping others as needed.

      Denyse x

  6. Congratulations – I’m sure I couldn’t think of a better ambassador.

  7. This is wonderful. This journey that you have been on will help so many others. Giving back is the mark of a true hero.

  8. Congratulations Denyse! You’re perfect for the job of Ambassador. You were already doing it I believe, and you are well known within the Australian blogosphere and beyond. You also have so much compassion and care and kindness within you, and of course have walked the path of many to come. Beyond Five made a very good choice in having you as an Ambassador! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

    • Your words are very compassionate and understanding.

      Thank you Min for your insights, friendship and caring support as I have taken this head and neck cancer journey.

      Denyse x

  9. Congratulations again, Denyse for being selected for this role. You are a perfect fit and it is so richly deserved.

    SSG xxx

    • Thank you! I shall be back at COBLH a bit more, which is always good and we may even be able to catch up for a quick caffeine fix in 2019.

      Denyse x

  10. You’re the perfect person for such an important job. I know you will continue to support, encourage, educate and inspire others in your role ambassador, just as you have done here on the blog.

    • Thank you Sammie. Most kind. I think you already know that thyroid cancer is also under the ‘umbrella of head & neck cancers’ too. You have been my strong and encouraging mentor through my recovery. Always will be appreciative of that.

      Denyse x