07 September 2015
All Australians are being urged to give a thought to their favourite charity and consider including them in their wills, during Include a Charity Week, 7-13 September, 2015.
Susan Stuart first contacted Cancer Council SA in 2008 for grief counselling after her brother passed away from Melanoma three years prior.
“I still hadn’t dealt with the grief over his death. I found the support and assistance of the grief counsellor helpful in coming to terms with my brother’s death.”
Susan’s brother lost his cancer fight at 31, only nine months after receiving a stage four melanoma diagnoses and while she was pregnant with her first child.
“This was one of the most confronting moments of my life – a doctor giving my beloved brother a death sentence with little that could be medically done to treat his cancer,” Susan said.
Susan’s brother was also going to be her unborn child’s Godfather – a role which he sadly couldn’t fulfil. He passed away when her daughter was only seven weeks old.
Susan was also involved with Cancer Council SA in 2013 to help a friend facing stage three breast cancer.
“She was a single mother and Cancer Council were able to provide emotional counselling, financial support and other assistance,” she added.
Not only having a close, personal experience with her brother and friend, Susan’s parents have also faced their own cancer fights.
Susan explains the importance of including a bequest in her will.
“Whilst I try to contribute to the cancer cause in my day to day life (such as donations and involvement in research projects), I could see the larger impact that I could make through the inclusion of a bequest in my will.”
Both Susan and her husband have always supported vital cancer research, especially melanoma research and have included a bequest to Cancer Council SA in both of their wills.
“We value the role research has to play in the fight against cancer, especially for the treatment of melanomas.”
Susan remembers some research projects that were underway during her brother’s battle but how much more that has been achieved over 10 and a half years later.
Almost 70% of Australians support charities in their lifetime, but only 7.5% of those people include a charitable gift in their will.
For more than 80 years, South Australians have supported Cancer Council SA, every day, to bring hope for a cancer-free future. Every day we’re another step closer to beating cancer, by investing locally in cancer research, prevention, support programs and services.
“Thanks to the generosity of individuals in our community like Susan, we are able to fund more cancer research than any other South Australian charity,” says Lincoln Size, Chief Executive of Cancer Council SA.
“At Cancer Council SA, we believe no one should go through a cancer journey alone so we are privileged to be able to provide a number of support services that help South Australians affected by cancer along with their families, carers and friends.
“Because of the community’s generosity, survival rates are rising, support is improving and prevention campaigns are working!
“After taking care of your loved ones, a gift in your will could be used to advance life-saving research or achieve the next groundbreaking discovery in cancer treatment. There is no better way to make your final wishes count. A gift of any size will make a difference”
Susan encourages others to take a moment and think about including a charity in their wills.
“Cancer seems to touch so many of us in modern day life. I truly hope for my children’s sake that research continues with the advancement of cancer treatment so they never have to face a doctor and hear that there is little that can be done for a loved one who has cancer,” Susan said.
Australians who wish to leave a bequest can go to www.includeacharity.com.au for information about preparing a will; how to leave a gift in your will; and finding a suitable charity to donate to.
For more information on Cancer Council SA visit www.cancersa.org.au