Throughout our lives, from our childhood years and right up to adulthood, we hold dear a number of individuals who inspire and give us hope. They are our role models, our precise measure of success, humility, strength and kindness. They are our teachers, our parents and our peers. They are those in the public eye whom we have never made contact, but their actions resonate and their impact profound. They are our heroes.
Christopher Reeve, once said, ‘A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” Every day, Rare Cancers Australia (RCA) crosses paths with this nation’s heroes. They are our patients who are confronted with the immense challenges of a rare cancer diagnosis. They are the families and the carers who must find resilience in the most difficult of times. And they are our supporters, who stand by us so that together we can make a difference to the over 42,000 Australians diagnosed each year with a rare and less common cancer.
It only seemed fitting that the 2016 Sick or Treat Charity Ball called for superheroes to join forces, seek justice, and to ultimately let good prevail. 325 heroes graced Doltone House, Hyde Park Sydney, for what was the third annual Ball hosted by RCA. It was a magical night where the ghouls of Halloween met graciously with the heroes of the comic world. The villains played nice and mere mortals mingled easily, unaware of their peculiar fellow guests.
When we speak of heroes, we must mention our Sick or Treat ambassador, Kelly Cartwright. After losing her right leg to a rare and aggressive form of cancer, Kelly has become one of Australia’s elite Paralympic and World Champion. Her story is one of triumph over adversity and we were delighted to have her attend the night.
We were fortunate to have Mel McLaughlin, Seven News Sports Anchor, MC the Ball. Mel showed dignity and grace as she shared her personal story of losing sister Tara to a rare form of lung cancer. Impassioned speeches were given by Senator Deborah O’Neill and Gail O’Brien, Director of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. Our thanks are extended to this group of 4 incredible women.
The night’s raffle and auction raised $64,000 and we are extremely humbled by the generosity of the guests on the night. Proceeds raised at the Ball will help fund important work in research, advocacy, patient support and treatment, community education and awareness.
Our thanks must go to all the sponsors, prize donors, volunteers and the many other organisations who gave their time and services so charitably. And finally, we must thank everyone who attended, and to those who answered our call for muscles, strength and passion, your super human efforts were remarkable. Thank you for being heroic with us, for sharing the journey, and for persevering so that we can better the outcomes for rare and less common cancer patients.
To view official photos of the 2016 Sick or Treat Charity Ball, please click here.