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Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Page: 6376

WYATT ROY (Longman) (10:38): Last Friday I hosted Longman's Biggest Morning Tea, one of many Biggest Morning Tea events held around the country in May to raise support and awareness for the work of the Cancer Council. Each day 275 Australians are diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer. I was surprised to recently learn that, by the time we turn 85, one in two Australians have suffered from cancer. Cancer is, in fact, the leading cause of death in Australia and all of us have been touched by cancer in some way with someone we know. It was for this reason that I decided to host a local Biggest Morning Tea. So on Friday, 80 members of my local community came together for a small feast of pancakes and to share their thoughts, experiences and support with the families, friends and loved ones of cancer recoverers as well as those suffering from cancer themselves. It was a great morning and the event raised hundreds of dollars to go towards finding a cure for cancer and helping those with their difficult journey of cancer. Thanks go to Gemma from the Cancer Council for coming out to our morning tea to speak about what the Cancer Council is doing and what the money raised will go towards.

There were many inspirational stories shared on Friday; stories of hope and stories of sacrifice. I spoke to many spouses who have dedicated their time to the many doctor visits and treatment programs. I was particularly inspired by the story of one of the ladies who attended the morning tea. She was a brave lady by the name of Debbie Lucht. Debbie had previously been diagnosed and had overcome kidney cancer, only to get the news on the 10th anniversary of her remission that the cancer had returned. Debbie is not one to take such news lying down. Debbie's perpetually positive attitude not only sees her strong fighting spirit to face her disease but also uplifts others, providing hope to everyone she meets. Debbie's words, 'I am not sick; I just have cancer,' are a striking demonstration of her inner strength and resolution. We could all learn much from Debbie's approach to life and I wish her the very best in her fight with this terrible disease.

I thank the many locals who turned out on Friday morning for Longman's Biggest Morning Tea, particularly as the weather was not quite the perfect Queensland weather we are used to. It was a privilege to meet many who have been personally touched by cancer and have, with great strength, persevered and fought cancer to go on to live full lives. I also thank the efforts of the two wonderful ladies from my community, Sandy and Mac, who volunteered their time to assist with Longman's Biggest Morning Tea. Without their help in preparing and serving morning tea and then cleaning up the event would not have been possible.

I take this opportunity to once again thank my community for their generosity and support for others. It is an honour to represent a community that is so willing to give so deeply when they, themselves, are facing difficult times.