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Monday, 19 October 2015
Page: 11662


Mrs SUDMALIS (Gilmore) (10:33): Code C for cancer is such a significant term. Last week was Carers Week, and the weekend was a great follow-up. On 10 October, one of our most well-known breakfasts, Party in Pink, was once again organised by Carla Balfor, ably assisted by her husband, Scott. Around 350 pink-clad men and women joined Compassionate Hearts to fundraise for breast cancer. Natalie Donnelly from the Sutherland shire shared her inspiring cancer journey. This week, the Shoalhaven Breast Cancer Support Group's Denise Davy is again having her fundraising breakfast in pink.

On Friday, one of the local Nowra businesses that will gain from the NBN switch-on in the CBD is Knickerboxers, owned by Rita Sullivan, who sells a whole range of products online to help mastectomy and lumpectomy breast cancer sufferers.

On Saturday night there was not one but two significant cancer fundraising events. Wilga Crehan, who for more than five years has been the driving force of the Pink Night Out in Sussex Inlet, along with help from Sussex Inlet volunteers and the dragon boaters, completely pinked the auditorium to raise money for the Sussex Inlet breast cancer support group coordinated by Robyn Lang. The MC extraordinaire was, of course, none other than Todd Barkley, who will give any politician a hard time, but it loses its edge when he is wearing a pink dressing gown, a glittery pink wig and work boots. Todd, you're a legend!

Dick Manwarring again held the Code C for Cancer fundraiser, which is always well attended. It is a fancy dress night, and everyone gets into the spirit of giving. After Saturday night's St Georges Basin community effort, Dick will have raised more than a quarter of a million dollars, which is truly amazing.

But the most poignant part of the day was at Ulladulla Macca's for McHappy Day. While collecting donations for Ronald McDonald House I had the honour of meeting Kieren Thomas Thompson, a young seven-year-old who is having his first weekend home after four months treatment and will have to return for another eight months. This bright eyed, friendly young man has a brain cancer that is unique—so unique that this aggressive tumour does not even have a name. The family is amazing. Warren and Sue, Kieren's mum and dad, are just plain wonderful. His sister, Emily, and brothers, Jason and Tiger, gather around him, shining like a beacon of courage and hope. Code C is not just for cancer; it is about courage for the patient, the family and the community all caring enough to have courage to do something about it, to raise money, to be there to support their family members.

This weekend was also the Ulladulla Relay for life. Congrats to Cas Bollen, David Johnson and the whole of the committee for all of their work. They had dressed up people doing races. They had a number of great bands there. Everybody was having a good time raising lots of money for this amazing cause.

This coming weekend if the Kiama Relay for Life, where we will have a team on the ground. Coral Barrott, Mardi Cross and their committee have done a fabulous job getting it all together, and I can only say to every person who has anything to do with cancer at all: it is the most amazing experience trying to help somebody.

Kieren, I wish you and your family well, because it is just very hard for them all.