Golfers raise $21,000 in swing against blood cancer
Mackay golfers are taking a swing at a deadly blood cancer to help balance the odds for Australians with leukaemia on the wrong side of the postcode lottery.
Rimex Wheel Mackay raised $21,192.92 for the Mackay branch of the Leukaemia Foundation with just one day on the greens.
General manager Karl Krajewski said the annual event was in honour of the international tyre company’s founder, Chris Weston, who spent 25 years battling lymphoma and prostate cancer to be killed by leukaemia in August 2017.
Mr Krajewski said in honour of Mr Weston, and Australian families struggling against blood cancers, 100 players took part in the third annual golf tournament in October.
“It has grown each year and so far we have raised between $40,000 to $50,000 for the three years,” Mr Krajewski said.
“Golf is a game for everyone.
“It started with mostly mining community types and now we have them from all sections of the community and even some social golfers have put a team in this year.”
Mr Krajewski said the tournament had almost doubled since the first match, and he hoped to have as many as 144 players this year.
He said the Mackay tournament was part of a global campaign the tyre company hosted.
Leukaemia Foundation acting chief executive officer Alex Struthers said donations from the Mackay team helped support more than 8000 Australians living with blood cancer.
Mr Struthers said the money would provide a temporary home for more than 540 regional families.
“By putting a roof over their heads when they must be away from home for treatment and providing them with support in their time of need, we can alleviate some of the pressures for regional and remote Australians living with blood cancer,” he said.
Blood Cancer Partnerships general manager Tim Murphy said two-fifths of Australians with a blood cancer were on the losing side of the postcode lottery.
“What we know is that sadly, your chances of surviving a blood cancer can depend on where you live,” he said.
“Regional blood cancer patients are facing barriers to accessing specialist care and crucial diagnostics, and these barriers are influencing their survival outcomes.
“It is the Leukaemia Foundation’s priority to break down these barriers.”
Mr Murphy said by breaking down the gap between regional and metro treatment, Australia could save 22,000 lives over the next 15 years.