Young woman’s brave cancer battle unites rival regions
THE PLAYFUL rivalry once on show between Rockhampton and Mackay has for now been put to rest as residents unite to help defeat a common enemy – cancer.
Chantelle Fraser and Tracy Dalton – from Rockhampton and Mackay respectively – first united after their colleague and friend Madie Butler was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma.
In a true act of mateship, the Hastings Deerings employees subsequently hosted a series of fundraisers to help the 22 year old cover the enormous costs associated with treatment.
But, what first started as a series of smalls acts of kindness, has transformed into a much larger trans-regional event.
Harley-Davidson Rockhampton’s Luke Comollatti was so moved by the duo’s earlier efforts he has since arranged a riding event he hopes up to 100 riders will attend.
The ‘Ride for Madie’ Poker Run will take to Rockhampton streets this coming Saturday, starting at Hastings Deering’s Port Curtis depot.
“It has been a tough year for so many people, but for Madie this has been particularly tough,” he said.
“Not only does she have to fly to Townsville for treatment, but there are medical expenses as well as the cost associated of being based there for the treatment, but also keeping up the rent on her home in Mackay.”
Participants will also be treated to a tasty barbecue post-ride – all for a $20 entry fee.
“We welcome riders on any bikes. We will ride through the region so it will be a great event, stopping to play poker along the way,” he said.
“[The ride will bring] something positive in these trying times. Anyone can rock up and pay on the day.”
Fortunately, Ms Butler’s overall health appears to be slowly improving following the completion of chemotherapy just this month.
The brave young woman this week revealed she had also taken part in the trial of a new treatment.
“I still have a few more tests in Townsville in a couple of weeks but these are just extras,” Ms Butler said.
“Doctors told me I had great response to the treatment, so I’m thankful I chose the right treatment path. The year can only go up from here: I’ll be back at work before I know it.”
She also thanked both communities for their continued support during the difficult time.
“I’m forever grateful for the amazing people who have all helped take the financial stress off myself and my partner’s lives.
“Not only do I hold all the employees at Hastings close to my heart for making it possible to be able to afford it, but people like Luke and others in both towns who bought a raffle ticket or supported me in any way,” Ms Butler said.
For more information on the upcoming event, contact (07) 4924 9200.
When: 1pm, Saturday 26 September, 2020
Where: Hastings Deerings, 152 Port Curtis Rd
What to bring: a bike of any form
Cost: $20 entry