Woman's fight with cancer inspires 'family' fundraiser
FAMILY - that's what XO Ladies' Fitness Centre is all about.
So when one of their own was struggling with chest pain during a push-up session earlier this year, they were concerned, but not prepared for the reality.
After many tests and weeks later, their client, who had been with XO since the very beginning, was diagnosed with stage four breast cancer.
It had spread to her shoulder, liver and spine.
"We thought she'd just pulled a muscle,” staff member Erin Schofield said.
This Saturday, the centre will be holding a "fun and low-key” high tea fundraiser, with market stalls, martial arts classes and talks by Cancer Council and a world-renowned re-constructive breast surgeon.
All funds raised from the event (including entry and raffle tickets) will be donated to Rockhampton Hospital's oncology ward.
"Our girl didn't want anything from this but we wanted to give back and support the cause and people going through it,” XO owner Cindy McCelloch said.
"So we contacted the local oncology unit and the breast cancer nurses to see what they need and what we can put the money towards for them.
"Hopefully we can get them something good they can benefit from.”
Since the member's shocking diagnosis, many of the centre's other members have become more proactive about their health.
They have opted for various health checks including skin checks, with some of them having to remove at-risk moles.
"The inspiration for the fundraiser was her but it was also awareness,” Ms Schofield said.
"She was fit, she was healthy, she's 36.
"It could've been anyone and if we hadn't done that day and she hadn't been sore she could've lived with it for who knows how long.”
Ms McCelloch said after approaching local businesses about the fundraiser, many people had a story about a friend or relative who had also experienced cancer.
"It's not really talked about until something like this happens,” she said.
"Cancer is one of those big words, it's really scary. We want to lighten up the whole awareness of it.”
The pair were touched by the huge wave of support they received from the community in the form of donated time, donated food, lent tables and chairs, and raffle prize donations.
"It's a real community spirit here. Rocky is really just one big family, happy to help out,” Ms McCelloch said.
"(Our girl) is in her second stage of chemotherapy at the moment and is starting to have signs of hair loss.
"But she has the most amazing mind set.
"If anyone is going to beat it, she will.”
Show Your Support
- Tickets are still available via the centre's Facebook page or at the gym for $35.
- Raffle tickets are $2 each for 3 for $5.
- The fundraiser runs from 2pm to 5pm.
- Everyone is welcome.