THERE were cuppas and cakes galore at Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School yesterday as the northern region celebrated the 20th anniversary of Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea.
Thirty VIPs – people who have a longstanding commitment to the Cancer Council cause and have raised more than $1000 – were present at the launch event, at which local man Dan Haslam spoke to guests and Farrer students about his personal experiences with cancer.
Mr Haslam said he was a young, active university student when he was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2010.
It was found to have spread, but after repeated surgery and chemotherapy things began looking up and he returned to university.
But the cancer returned and sparked a trip to Germany to undergo a treatment that was unavailable in Australia.
He was operated on again but “a spot or two” of cancer remains, and he continues to undergo chemotherapy.
Mr Haslam’s talk was punctuated with jokes, including one about the constipated mathematician who “worked it out with a pencil”, which elicited loud laughs and a few groans from the crowd.
He also spoke of the work of the Cancer Council, in both their contribution to supporting those who had cancer and fighting to eradicate it. “I truly hope, from the bottom of my heart, these kind, beautiful, caring people will one day be unemployed,” Mr Haslam said.
But despite the light mood, Mr Haslam had a serious message to tell the boys of Farrer – young people can and do get cancer, so if anything unusual was happening with their body, they should get it checked out.
After the formalities the VIPs and students enjoyed a morning tea in aid of the cause.
Funds raised from the Biggest Morning Tea go into the Cancer Council’s work for research, advocacy, prevention and support services.
Narrabri woman Helen Cameron was among the VIPs at the event, having held a morning tea for 17 years.