George Salamon, 25-year character about town, is suffering from metastasised cancer.
Government doctors have told George they can give him only palliative care. “Basically they were saying they cannot help me,” he said. “They used the word, incurable.” After a CAT scan the doctors spotted a tumour on his right kidney. They operated and took out the whole kidney. Since then cancer cells have affected his pancreas, lung, remaining kidney and lymph nodes.
On the recommendation of a friend George has gone to St Theresa’s Hospital oncologist Dr Tsao Shui-ying. “He does not accept nothing can be done.” Dr Tsao has proposed to George that he undergo “3D embroidery radiation therapy”. This involves beams of radiation shaped to match tumours. It is more precise treatment, reducing the effect on healthy tissue and enabling stronger radiation doses to be used, shrinking and killing tumours.
Dr Tsao estimated the cost at $70,000 initially with further funds needed for later CAT scans and care, plus panzopanib pills (these decrease blood supply to tumours to slow their growth) that cost $20,000 a month. “I don’t have this money, so no treatment is being done.”
Born in Hong Kong in 1951, George has lived in Sai Kung for 25 years with partner Julie King, the real estate agent, at their Tso Wo Hang home. By a previous marriage he has a daughter, Simone Dolay, owner of Sai Kung’s Paradise Pole Dancing Studio. George is a travel industry professional who joined Cathay Pacific inflight staff as soon as he was eligible at 21. He rose to Chief Purser on Tri-Stars. In 1984 union activity — George was vice chairman of the flight attendants union — led to the airline not renewing his contract. Since then he has worked in many travel industry positions with hotels, tour operators, another airline and cruise ships. His last job for two years was cruise director on a Yangtze River ship.
George is a widely known and well liked member of the community. He is the affable, loquacious type who will talk to anyone. His friend and former colleague, Karen Young, said, “George is a bit of an institution in Sai Kung.”