It was 3 words, spoken to me one October afternoon that sent me weak at the knees. “Dad has cancer”.
It’s easy to forget that behind every statistic is a story. I’d heard that 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed with cancer by age 85 but until I got the phone call from Mum, that statistic had no point of reference for me.
Dad had been diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer, and the outlook wasn’t good.
After the diagnosis, one of the first things that our family was given was a pack by the Cancer Council explaining what we should expect with the cancer journey. It was so simple, but so helpful and provided a small measure of comfort for the ride ahead.
The Cancer Council believes that the fight against the many forms of the disease needs to be fought on a number of fronts, that’s why their efforts encompass world-class medical research, treatment and prevention campaigns, and ensuring that sufferers have the best quality of life possible.
96% of the Cancer Council’s funding comes from donations, so when I was invited by the Cancer Council to be involved with the 20th anniversary of one of their key fundraising activities, Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, I jumped at the chance.
This year a number of Australia’s cooking luminaries including Matt Moran, Gary Mehigan and Poh Ling Yeow have prepared a range of dishes for a healthier alternative to the traditional morning tea. So it was that I gathered with a number of other bloggers at Chez Dee in Potts Point to sample the dishes and to hear more about the great work of the Cancer Council.
On hand to talk to us was cancer survivor and Channel 10 host Barry Du Bois; journalist, TV host, blogger and author Sarah Wilson alongside staff and volunteers from the Cancer Council.
The morning was at times humorous, moving, informative and most importantly a whole lot of fun but what it really demonstrated to me was the power of people coming together to face illness, because together we’re much more powerful that a collection of individuals.
Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is more than just another fundraiser; it’s a reminder that when we come together, we can tackle anything.
My Dad didn’t survive his battle with cancer but thanks to the work of organisations like the Cancer Council, the journey was that little bit easier. And one day, who knows? Maybe we’ll talk about cancer the same way we talk about smallpox. I hope so.
It’s only by coming together that we’ll make a difference and maybe one day, those statistics will just be another story.
Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is officially held on May 24th but can be held any time during May. To find out how you can host your own morning tea or simply donate, visit http://www.biggestmorningtea.com.au/