The Angels frontman Doc Neeson is fighting cancer for a second time, he’s confirmed – but he remains as determined as ever to beat the disease.
He announced in 2013 that he’d been diagnosed with a brain tumour, and vowed he’d be among the 20% of victims who’d survive. His statement came just days before Angels bassist Chris Bailey retired from the band to deal with jaw cancer. He died last April.
Neeson tells ABC: “The news is grim – but some people can get through this, and that’s the way I try to think about things. I’m looking forward optimistically to the future.”
He reveals he was given 18 months to live when first diagnosed, saying: “It was a shock when someone put a use-by date on me, but I still hung on to a shred of hope that I’d get back on stage at some point.”
The first tumour was successfully removed, followed by a regime of radiotherapy and chemotherapy that caused him to sleep for 20 hours a day. A benefit show called Rock For Doc was held last year.
Friend and colleague Jimmy Barnes said at the event: “It’s a sad thing that we wait until somebody is sick to let them know we love them. He’s done some of the most inspirational gigs I’ve ever seen. He’s a great guy.”
Neeson was recently awarded the Order Of Australia Medal and admitted: “I felt a bit kind of humble. I haven’t saved any lives. I feel honoured to be in that company.”