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Serious message behind Christmas lights

Rochester resident Ken Hocking has chosen to use his Christmas lights display to draw attention to a support group for brain tumour patients.

ELAINE COONEY December 10, 2013 4:52am

Rochester resident Ken Hocking has a serious Christmas message to share this year.


It’s been three years since Rochester resident Ken Hocking died three times.

Mr Hocking was diagnosed with a brain tumour more than seven years ago but has now been given the all-clear.

He went through a year where he collapsed several times and had to be resuscitated.

Despite strong medication he takes to keep his pain at bay, he feels well enough to set up a support group for brain tumour patients.

That is the message he is choosing to display on the gates of his Christmas wonderland on Baynes St, Rochester.

Brain Tumour Alliance, written in Christmas lights on his gate, is the name of the organisation he will set up in Echuca after Christmas.

Mr Hocking said while his friends and family helped him through the tough times, there was no-one going through the same experiences as him.

He said he wanted to help people relate to other brain tumour patients.

‘‘I was 44 when I was first diagnosed and it’s quite scary when you’re so young,’’ he said.

Mr Hocking described what his current pain — which is from excess fluid on the brain — felt like.

‘‘It’s like someone’s got a vice grips on your head and is squeezing it,’’ he said.

He wears a beanie on his head in the middle of summer because his head constantly feels cold and has problems looking at computer screens.

‘‘I feel blessed and lucky that I’m alive and doing the Christmas lights,’’ he said.

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