Driving rain might have temporarily stopped work but it could not dampen the spirit of dozens of volunteers who were working on the first day of the Build for a Cure house construction at Medowie on Monday.
Tradies, suppliers, sponsors, Rotary Club members and families of children who have battled cancer were at the site of the future four-bedroom house, which will be sold at auction in October to raise funds for the Children’s Cancer Institute.
“We hope to raise $650,000 from the sale and that for us is the equivalent of having six senior researchers working in the lab, at the bench, for an entire year,” Anne Johnston, of the Children’s Cancer Institute, said.
“It is only with the community [support] that we can get these brilliant, young and more experienced researchers at the lab bench doing the work that we need so we can cure every child of cancer.”
The Reeves family, who were watching on as the house’s frame began to take shape, know the impact of childhood cancer first hand.
Mark and Hayley Reeves’ daughter, Jade, was diagnosed with a brain tumour two weeks before her third birthday.
She underwent five brain surgeries and spent 12 months in and out of hospital having “countless amounts” of chemotherapy to survive, mum Hayley said.
“People need to realise how important organisations like the Children’s Cancer Institute and Neuroblastoma Australia are in terms of childhood cancer and the gains they can make through projects like this,” she said.
“They don’t realise that from advancing their research starting from the ground level, starting from children, it’s going to benefit the future.
“It’s not a question of if it’s going to happen, it will happen – they will find a cure.”
Now six, Jade showed all of her “amusing, bubbly and talkative” personality when she told Newcastle Knights players she supports the “Sharks”, less than 24 hours after they were well beaten by the Cronulla side.
More than 100 tradies will help build the house during a planned three-week construction period and they will be well fueled by members of the Kurri Kurri, Williamtown, East Maitland and Raymond Terrace Rotary Clubs, who are operating an on-site kitchen.
McDonald Jones Homes are the company behind the build with the land at The Bower estate donated by the McCloy Group.