Hunter Valley News

Find your way to show 'Pink is the Colour'

From left to right, McGrath Foundation Ambassador and Director, Tracy Bevan, Narrabri's Dr Karen Kirkby and Bella Armstrong. Picture supplied

This is branded content for the McGrath Foundation.

MANY people touched by breast cancer, either personally or when witnessing a loved one's experience, come to the same question: what can I do to make a difference?

Those lucky enough may also be aware of the amazing work of McGrath Breast Care Nurses, and understand how valuable this free service is to those diagnosed and their families.

Having seen the work of McGrath Breast Care Nurses firsthand, people across Australia have been inspired to make a difference by finding fun and innovative ways to fundraise, helping to continue the work of the McGrath Foundation.

Whether you have been personally touched by breast cancer or not, everyone can find their own way to show pink is the colour of care, of support, of life and of fun, while raising vital funds for the McGrath Breast Care Nurses.

With 'Pink is the Colour' there is no set way to fundraise, so if you think you have a good idea, share it with others and give it a go. And if you need some inspiration, here are some ways others have dived in to help.

A sea of pink - Karen Kirkby

Narrabri's Dr Karen Kirkby dons some pink in support of the McGrath Foundation. Picture supplied

Narrabri's Dr Karen Kirkby clearly remembers the October morning she became inspired to "pink up' her region.

Diagnosed with breast cancer three months earlier in July 2020, she'd made the three and a half hour trip to Mudgee to receive part of her cancer treatment.

On an early morning search for a coffee and wearing the t-shirt one of her best friends had given her, with the slogan "Check your boobs, mine tried to kill me", she suddenly found herself in the middle of a sea of pink - the annual Mudgee Pink Up Your Town event.

"It was really profound and I just started thinking, 'I could pink up Narrabri'," said Dr Kirkby, a plant pathologist with the Department of Primary Industry.

"Then later while I was having chemo in Dubbo I thought, 'No, I'm going to pink up the region, pink up Namoi'."

With Dr Kirkby leading the way, the communities in Narrabri, Wee Waa, Baan Baa, and Boggabri joined forces for the Pink Up Namoi event in 2021 raising $106,000 for the McGrath Foundation.

To people wanting to pink up their town, Dr Kirkby's advice is to start talking.

"When one person talks to one person and they talk to someone else it's just amazing the impact you can have."

Recycling for a pink cause - David Dorman

David Dorman's family has been touched by breast cancer on numerous occasions. Picture supplied

David Dorman's family has been touched by breast cancer in ways no family should have to endure.

David lost his mother to the disease, and then his younger sister at only 53 years old. His brother and sister have also faced breast cancer.

David has seen the challenges patients can deal with during diagnosis and treatment, and was inspired to help any way he can.

He decided to collect recyclables - cans and bottles - to take to the collection centre and redeem for cash that he would donate to the McGrath Foundation, recently donating $1000.

"When my younger sister had breast cancer, she had to drive to see a doctor and nurse, and that really resonated with me," said David.

"I read about the McGrath Foundation and what they do, and I thought 'what a wonderful thing', so this is my own little way of trying to help."

For David, the importance of the McGrath Foundation lies within the physical care they give, but also the emotional support they provide.

"They let people know they're not alone and there is help available to them.Whether they need a dressing fixed, or a mentor - the whole support system is just wonderful," said David.

Trek of the pink tractor - Hugh Bateman

Hugh Bateman's 3000-kilometre trek around NSW on his pink tractor started a long association with the McGrath Foundation. Picture supplied

When Mudgee realtor Hugh Bateman hopped on his pink tractor in 2015 and set off on a 3000-kilometre trek around NSW, little did he know the impact it would have.

Inspired by the breast cancer experiences of friends and customers, and determined to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation, Mr Bateman was overwhelmed by the support of the communities he met.

After the trek, a chat over coffee between Mr Bateman and McGrath Foundation's Ambassador and Director Tracy Bevan sparked the Pink Up Your Town idea.

In 2016, Mudgee became the first in Australia to "go pink". With Pink Up Mudgee now in its seventh year and close to raising more than $1 million, it continues to lead the way.

"Mudgee has just embraced this - it's the most fantastic town with incredible generosity and community spirit," Mr Bateman said.

With the community always working on ideas for the annual pinkification of Mudgee, events planned for this year include a pink golf tournament, pink polo, a pink 1970s-themed disco and the launch of a specially-brewed pink beer.

"Everyone gets involved - the council plants pink flowers and lights up the big clock in the town centre - everything's pink and it's fantastic to be part of," Mr Bateman said.

How pink will you go? Register now: www.pinkisthecolour.com.au

  • ACM, publisher of this website, is a proud community partner of the McGrath Foundation.