At work, we have a timetable drawn on a whiteboard in our staff room. It shows the 10 weeks for each term and what is happening on each day. At the end of the week, the row is wiped clean.
I used to love watching the term get smaller and smaller, knowing there would be holidays at the end. But for the last couple of years, and especially 1st term of 2019, this timetable caused me great anxiety.
My Dad was dying. And I sort of knew when.
Dad did his best not to burden us. He told us he was ready to go, and happy with everything he had accomplished in his life.
But he slipped up once.
The day he sold his motorhome (something he’d been researching for years and brought when he put his farm on the market, ready to live the Grey Nomad life of retirement) he said “I was looking forward to traveling around Australia in that.”
Mum and Dad’s retirement plans took a back seat as we lived 10 days at a time between 3 day treatments for 2 years.
Dad had such a zest and energy for life, watching it fade out has broken me to my core. I guess I’d always held onto a hope that he would beat it. If anyone could do it, it was my Dad.
But I was wrong. Dad put up a good fight but died aged 57 on May 6th 2019.
Dad died of cancer, just as many before him have, and will continue to until a cure is found.
In memory of Dad - Philip John Anderson- “Jack”
Joseph and I will be taking part in the Mystery Box Rally for 2020.
Mystery Box Rally is one of the largest community lead fundraising events for the Cancer Council in Australia having raised over $4.5 million in the last 8 years.
We will be traveling to Rockhampton in a car no less than 25 years old, to begin the rally. The reason it is called “Mystery Box” is because we have no idea where we are going from there, and will be informed of our destination each morning.
Part of the requirements for our participation is to raise a minimum of $3,500. These funds go to the Cancer Council to help people with cancer, and funding important research.
Fundraising is the hard part, and we would greatly appreciate any donations.If you’d like to, you can follow our progress via this page and the blog post below.
Our team is called The Jumping Jacks in honor of Dad’s MX success.
Teams will drive their own 25+ year old cars along a mystery route in this unique 5 day challenge, all in the name of cancer research. The route is a loop starting and finishing at the same location, but all the other details are kept under wraps, only given to the teams each morning.
The rally is not a race – it’s a fun, colourful, unpredictable adventure with participants travelling at their own pace in smaller groups. Vehicles often break down but “we never leave anyone behind” and each night is spent camping beneath the stars and celebrating the day’s achievements. It all adds up to an incredible opportunity to see Australia’s vast and beautiful countryside and make lifelong friends, many brought together after experiencing cancer themselves or seeing cancer impact family and friends.
Since it’s inception the rally has been the largest fundraiser for the Cancer Council nationally."
Today, Friday the 13th of December, my beautiful friend and work colleague Stacey, held a cupcake drive to help raise funds for ‘The Jumping Jacks.’ Upon final count, she raised $567.
Stacey has very thoughtfully only told the children at my work place the bare essentials as to what we are doing and why, as I find it a bit hard to talk about without crying still. She tried to also keep it a secret from me, but failed when I caught her putting up posters.
I’m so grateful to all my colleagues for their support of Stacey today and their own personal contributions. One class even displayed some cupcake artwork and writing along the walls of our hall.
I spent a lot of today trying to control my emotions.
Please know that I am incredibly grateful to everyone for your donations and time. We really have been blown away by how quickly we have managed to raise the amount we have.
Next year I hope to be more in control and able to talk more about the rally and our reasons for entering.
We have our thinking hats on as to what kind of community events we can organize and look forward to a big year in 2020.
Thank you all so much for your incredible support and enthusiasm x
Christmas was hard this year, and the looming new year brings with it a different kind of anxiety.
You’d think we’d be ready to leave such an awful year behind us, but it feels a little like we are leaving Dad behind too.
Here’s to a new year, and hope that we can make a difference in the lives of others who continue to fight and those who are yet to be diagnosed ❤️
Happy and Safe holidays to you all x
Mystery Box Rally is a dedicated fundraising event for cancer research with funds going to Cancer Council.
Cancer Council is one of the largest non-government funders of cancer research in Australia. We conduct and fund research studies across all cancers and all stages of the cancer journey.
Thanks to the community funds raised such as Mystery Box Rally we can fund world-class research that reduces the impact of cancer for everyone.
Over $20 million has been raised by Box Rallies to date, supporting ground-breaking projects such as:
These projects wouldn’t be possible without your support.