Resource industry workers are the backbone of our land; strong, resilient, tough. But when serious illness comes knocking, even the strongest need support. This is where Miners’ Promise excels, in supporting families and individuals at their time of greatest need -something that Eric Fordham knew only too well.
Eric was as resilient as they come. He’d been working in the resources sector for many years, based in Kalgoorlie, when cancer struck. Upon his diagnosis, Eric, who had two grown children, was flown to Perth to begin treatment.
Eric’s employer, Norton Gold Fields, is a participating employer with Miners’ Promise, which means all employees are automatically members. It was Norton Gold who contacted us to see if we could help.
A family liaison representative from Miners’ Promise immediately contacted Eric to let him know they were available for support and to determine his needs. Fortunately, Eric had salary protection from the company which reduced some immediate stress. However, there were a few isolated bills including non-urgent patient transport and utilities. Miners’ Promise was on the case immediately and liaised with the Cancer Council who were able to help in Eric’s case, as his illness was terminal.
Eric endured many months of treatment, including surgery and chemotherapy and Miners’ Promise supported him all the way, acting as a sounding board to make sense of the news from his doctors; helping to talk things over and helping him prepare for what was to come.
Miners’ Promise was also mindful of letting his mates and colleagues know of his progress, via Norton Gold Fields.
Sadly, Eric was to eventually lose the fight. Miners’ Promise helped him deal with the devastating news and were there for him during his palliative care to talk about the practicalities.
When the time finally came, Miners’ Promise was able to pay for and attend the funeral.
“We developed a real personal connection with him as he went through his treatment, which is why we often see our members as ‘family’. He was a true gentleman and so gracious about the help and support we were able to provide at such a traumatic time.”