TWO Army veterans are raising money for their mate and former soldier, Mildura resident Brad McGlashan, who is battling a brain tumour they fear may have resulted after an anti-malaria drug he was given during his service in East Timor almost 20 years ago.
Tragically, Brad’s young son Jesse is also currently being treated for a rare form of Leukaemia. The two veterans want an investigation into whether there a link between the illnesses of Brad and Jesse.
Mick Maloney, who served with Brad in East Timor, together with former private Josh Fraser, are batting for Brad and his family and recently raised more than $1500, with the support of 30 other people who train at the martial arts centre Mick’s wife operates, with some of that money being used to buy Jesse a giant size teddy bear.
“Jesse already had a little teddy bear, but when I saw a picture of it I said ‘he’s going to need a bigger bear’!” Mick said.
“Within in an hour, 17 guys had already donated $1500 and so we also presented a big care-package to Brad’s wife Brie. Many others have also donated and we hope to continue to raise more money.”
Mick says that DVA are so far refusing to recognise the possible connection to the drug and Brad’s condition. “The most bizarre thing, is that when we went to East Timor we were given Doxycycline to see how the body reacts. ‘Gash’ (Brad) didn’t take to it and had an adverse reaction and became really ill. Then he was given Lariam (another name for Mefloquine) which was taken once a week,” Mick said.
Later this month Diggers Military Motor Cycle Club members will arrive in Mildura with a cash donation for Brad’s family.
Department of Veterans’ Affairs has refuted any connection to Brad and his son’s conditions or the anti-malaria drugs associated with many veterans conditions.
− JOHN DOOLEY