KERRY Smith knows firsthand the value of specialised equipment to care for cancer patients during their battle.
She cared for her husband Mark at home during his two-year battle with lung and other cancers and is passionate about raising funds to help other patients’ journey easier.
Kerry will join the Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari from Yorkeys Knob to Port Douglas on Australia Day 2016 and is already on top of the fundraising leader board.
“Mark had lung cancer – he had surgery and aggressive treatment but then they found lymph nodes in his chest and neck. For two years, we battled,” Ms Smith said.
Aged 54, he died after a two-year battle in April last year (2015).
Kerry, originally from North Queensland, moved back to the region last year and discovered the joy of relaxing time on a personal watercraft and has since bought two.
“I heard about the Sea-Fari event through one of the retailers in Cairns and thought it was perfect for me because it was for charity and close to my heart,” Ms Smith said.
The Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari powered by ZincFM (formerly known as Unit’s Jetski Fundrun) has been running since 2011 and in that time more than $60,000 has been raised. This money is specifically for the tranquillity room at the Cancer Care Ward at Cairns Hospital. Due to the Cairns Hospital redevelopment, planning for the tranquillity room is now underway with a view to starting construction in 2016. The Trinity Powersports Sea-Fari is to raise funds to provide treatment and services locally for people with cancer and their families. People in regional and rural areas do not have the same access to services as their metropolitan counterparts and can travel thousands of kilometres to receive the care they need.
Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation fundraising and marketing manager Glenys Duncombe said fundraising would go towards equipment to ease the comfort of cancer patients undergoing treatment such as ice machines for when they can’t eat due to radiation treatment.
The memorial trophy for highest fundraiser is in the name of Brian “Unit” Wilson who instigated the ride, and his mother Dawn Butler travels up from Victoria each year to be part of the event, and present the trophy.
Unit was the event's inaugural sponsor donating $15,000 to kick-start. Sadly, just two Fundruns later on May 19, 2012, Brian lost his battle with cancer. He will be remembered by all who knew him as a determined individual, who helped others before himself.
To register to take part or buy raffle tickets, visit www.seafari.org.au.
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