Kerrie Turner, 34, says she was fighting off a sense of “helplessness” when she committed to organising a fundraiser for cancer research on behalf of a friend.
A year later Ms Turner’s efforts have amounted to almost $10,000 in donations to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Ms Turner’s friend of 15 years, Brooke Procter, was diagnosed with the disease in late 2017. Ms Turner wanted to be with her “every step of the way”.
“She was only 37 at the time and she’s a really, really good friend of mine,” she said. “She lived at Narrabri and I was down here at Lochinvar.
“I think having someone so close to me and with children the same age, it’s a real scare.”
Faced with the tyranny of distance Ms Turner found another way to help.
“I just decided to take the plunge,” she said.
“It started that I was going to shave my head, fundraising online, but the more I spoke to Brooke over the phone we decided to organise a fundraising event.
“I got my fundraising number and approached lots of businesses to get donations for raffles and off we went.”
Ms Turner said “so many came forward with generosity” to support the gala event, held at Weston Workers Club on January 6 of this year.
A guitar maker Ms Turner approached ended up donating a custom made instrument to the cause, bearing the pink ribbon symbol.
“There were people who had other types of cancer that still felt that journey and that pain and contributed,” Ms Turner said.
“It’s [cancer] touched so many lives, just that fact that when people go through that it forever changes their life.”
The mother-of-three kept true to her original goal and “braved the shave” in front of the gala’s guests.
The friends raised thousands of dollars on the night.
“It was an amazing amount of money we raised. People really dug deep,” she said.
Ms Procter, who has since moved back to the Hunter, was also able to celebrate the end of her treatment.
“It was really beautiful for Brooke after the trying twelve months she had to have all her friends and family there rallying behind her,” Ms Turner said.
The pair will be running with a group of friends in the upcoming Mother’s Day Classic to raise further funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
“It’s something we will always continue to do,” Ms Turner said.
“When that happens to someone close to you, you appreciate what life is really about.”
The guitar will remain on silent auction until February 20. To place a bid visit www.32auctions.com.
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