For Carol Cooke and Ken Hartnett the yellow theme of Daffodil Day is more than just about fundraising – it’s a bright light of hope for those facing a battle with cancer.
Carol and Ken are both cancer survivors and long-time stalwarts of the Cancer Council Queensland Warwick branch and tomorrow, Friday 23 August, they’ll be encouraging locals to buy a bunch of daffodils to raise money for vital research programs.
Tomorrow you’ll find a sea of yellow daffodils and pins at Warwick Betta Home Living, Coopers Menswear, Bunnings Warehouse, Steele’s Bakery Café and at Big W and other locations in Rose City Shopping World in Warwick.
For Carol, tomorrow will be a time to reflect on her own cancer journey, having beaten breast cancer and endured the lengthy weeks of chemotherapy and radiation post-surgery during 2018.
Carol’s daughter Jeannine has also fought off breast cancer no less than three times and Carol lost her grandmother to the disease.
“All you can do is to try and stay positive – but that can be hard at times,” Carol says.
“I was fortunate enough to be able to stay at the Olive McMahon Lodge in Toowoomba while I was having the chemo and radiation.
“They have shuttle buses driven by volunteers who come and pick you up and take you to hospital for your treatment and then take you back again.
“I also met other people who were staying there and it was good to be able to share our stories and our experiences – we met people from places like Tara and Goondiwindi and all over.
“Being able to stay there made a big difference – a lot of people have to travel back and forth from Toowoomba to Warwick and elsewhere on a daily basis and that’s really hard on them.”
The Olive McMahon Lodge is currently undergoing major renovations which are expected to be completed by the end of this year to enable comfortable accommodation to continue to be provided to the hundreds of regional families which benefit from it every year.
For the blokes, Ken Hartnett – himself a prostate cancer survivor – has a simple message.
“Don’t be a big hero – get regular checks,” Ken says.
“Most blokes think, ‘This will never happen to me’.
“But these days there’s a simple blood test you can have, so there’s no need to be pig-headed about it.
“An uncle of mine had prostate cancer and he left it until it got to the stage he couldn’t leave home – you can save yourself all of that by having regular checks.
“It’s about quality of life.
“I was fortunate in that in my case the cancer was contained in the prostate and hadn’t spread into my back, which is where it usually spreads to first.”
• If you or someone you love is struggling with a recent cancer diagnosis support is only a phone call away – call the Cancer Council hotline on 13 11 20.
About Daffodil Day…
• Daffodil Day is Cancer Council’s most iconic and much-loved fundraising campaign. It is a day of hope when Australians show their support for the people they know (or even those they don’t know) who have been affected by cancer
• 2019 marks the 33rd year of Daffodil Day in Australia, with funds raised supporting vital research for a cancer free future
• Cancer Council is the largest independent funder of cancer research in Australia and aims to raise more than $4 million across the country this Daffodil Day Appeal