House debates

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Constituency Statements

Macarthur Electorate: 24-Hour Fight Against Cancer Macarthur

9:47 am

Photo of Russell MathesonRussell Matheson (Macarthur, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

On 16 October I had the pleasure of attending the 24-Hour Fight Against Cancer Macarthur at Campbelltown sports stadium. Over 1,200 people from the community turned up to support those who have survived cancer, those who are currently receiving treatment and those who wished to pay tribute to loved ones they had lost.

This event brings together people from all over the Macarthur region with teams coming from schools, churches, sporting organisations and local businesses. On the day I was privileged to be accompanied by three mayors of the region: Paul Lake of Campbelltown City Council, Chris Patterson of Camden Council and Michael Banasik of Wollondilly Council; as well as by my good friend Jai Rowell.

I was proud to walk as part of ‘Jod’s Team’ which was led by her sister Kelly Lakeman. Jodie tragically died from a melanoma in 2009. She was just 24 years of age. Jodie’s mother and father, Julie and Garry, family and friends joined the event to honour their beloved sister, daughter and friend. It was a very emotional time for the family but they were proud to keep the memory of Jodie alive and help raise awareness for families like them who have lost a loved one. Jodie’s mother praised the nurses from Camden Palliative Care Unit who were so loving and caring to Jodie and her family in their time of need.

Kerrie Noyce and her son Chris, who initially invited me to participate in the walk, worked tirelessly to fundraise—selling raffle tickets, key rings and baking cakes—and raise awareness for the event, so I take this opportunity to thank them for all their hard work for this noble cause.

The 24-Hour Fight Against Cancer Macarthur has been running for six years and this year celebrated its one million-dollar year. All funds raised are spent on cancer services in Macarthur. The event has been integral in providing cancer services with specialist and state-of-the-art equipment they would otherwise not have been able to afford.

I would like to recognise the hard work of the committee members who made this year’s event possible: Councillor Fred Borg, Associate Professor Stephen Della Fiorentina, Christine Edge, Sharon and Adam Galway, Dave Gray, Brendan Kinsela, Dot Lechner OAM, Janet Morgan, Sue McGarrity, Rebecca Purcell, Ken Stonestreet, Kathy Wong and Vanessa Asper.

The amount raised this year will tip the overall total raised to $1 million. The event raises funds for three main cancer services: the Paediatric Ambulatory Cancer Care Service, the Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre in Campbelltown Hospital and the Palliative Care Unit at Camden Hospital. It is a tragic thing to lose a young life, especially to a disease as indiscriminating as cancer. However, community events such as this ensure that our loved ones are not forgotten but rather that their passing unites a community to come together for a common cause—just as it has done in my electorate of Macarthur.