02 May 2017
With one Australian diagnosed with cancer approximately every five minutes (the length of an average tea break) ovarian cancer survivor Emma Cockram, 47, vows to hold an Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea each year regardless of where she is employed.
Emma was diagnosed with cancer in September 2011 at 37 years old.
“I went to the doctors simply because I couldn’t have a bowel movement and I had tried everything,” she said.
After visiting the doctor and subsequent ultrasound and MRI, Emma had surgery to remove her four kilogram tumour within six weeks of her appointment. She had her left ovary removed, part of the womb and bladder and other tissue matter with surrounding areas coming back negative for cancer.
A report writer in the Intensive Compliance Unit, Emma has held a morning tea for the past five years and loves to chat with her fellow co-workers saying she would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t been affected by cancer.
“Not many people know or understand what services are available for everybody involved. I feel most people have empathy for the person diagnosed and the ripple effect for family and friends tends to be more overlooked.”
This year, Cancer Council SA will be specifically celebrating the unique cancer support services that Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea hosts help fund.
For example, in the past financial year, Cancer Council SA was able to provide over 7,500 South Australians with information and support about cancer via 13 11 20, over $107,000 in financial assistance to those in need and over 31,000 nights of accommodation at Cancer Council Lodge for those travelling to Adelaide for cancer treatment.
Emma says she is open about her experience and tells people where they can seek help.
“Because I am so open, people seem to confide in me if they have been affected by cancer as well. The first thing I tell them is to contact Cancer Council and speak to somebody there. The range of services you can access is outstanding.”
Emma’s morning tea will be held on Thursday 25 May and due to staff working from 7am-6pm, they will hold several teas to ensure all staff are able to enjoy it. The staff will sell goodie bags beforehand, chocolates, raffle tickets and a possible office lotto.
Throughout May and June Cancer Council is calling on South Aussies to pop on the kettle and prep the menu for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea to raise vital funds for Cancer Council SA.
Cancer Council SA Chief Executive Lincoln Size, said Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is a great way for Aussies to support the one in two Australians who will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85, as well as their loved ones.
“Thousands of morning teas will take place in workplaces, communities and people’s homes again this year and each one plays a vital part in ensuring we can continue to provide a range of support services to people affected by cancer across South Australia.”
In addition to support services, Cancer Council SA also works in the areas of cancer research, prevention and advocacy.
“This year, we encourage South Australians to take the opportunity at their morning teas to talk about how to support someone living with cancer and to remind them that Cancer Council SA is here to help.”
The official event date for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is Thursday 25 May 2017 but events can be hosted any time in May or June.
Emma loves the event because it brings everyone together while also giving her a sense of empowerment being active in the fight against cancer.
“I love the fact that this cause brings people together to have fun and raise a huge amount of money for something that has pretty much affected everybody in the office. No matter when I will be employed, I will be holding a Biggest Morning Tea.”
Those wishing to host a morning tea can register their event at: www.biggestmorningtea.com.au or call 1300 65 65 85 to receive a free host kit packed with fundraising ideas, party tips, mouth-watering recipes from celebrity chefs and event planning tips.