Tractors and clocks keep Don ticking
DON Knight collects clocks, but is living on borrowed time.
When the doctor diagnosed him with acute myeloid leukemia in November last year and told him he had three months to live, Don's reply was practical and blunt.
"I've got a tractor to fix,” he said.
He was offered nine months of life if he underwent chemotherapy.
"I didn't even feel sick,” Don said.
"I thought I might as well stay home and potter about with the cows.”
The prognosis for someone over 70 with blood cancer has a 1.8% success rate.
Don decided on an alternative treatment as he didn't want to be at the Gold Coast Hospital and leave the farm.
Every day he takes vegetable capsules containing burdock root, slippery elm bark, sheep sorrel and Indian rhubarb root.
"I just take them and I'm not dead yet,” Don said.
His latest blood test showed his leukemia was currently non-urgent.
Whether it was the capsules or a "natural remission”, Don isn't one to analyse the results.
He has 17 tractors and spends much of his day making new cogs and parts for the old engines that sit in his sheds.
In the farmhouse kitchen on his 125-acre property, he pulls out newspaper clippings from an old box. They illustrate his part in the coal seam gas protests at Doubtful Creek.
His eyes brighten when he talks about the pop-up party on his property with musicians Xavier Rudd and the John Butler Trio to celebrate stopping the gas mining.
"It was Don's Party,” he chuckled.
The protests connected him with people in the area he'd never met and it is clear he enjoyed helping out.
"I took 14 truckloads of firewood to the Bentley protest,” he said.
"After 13 they said it was enough but I said I can't stop at 13, so I bought another truckload.”