17 May 2019
Actress and former Miss Universe Australia Finalist Stella Badenoch is sharing her story this May to encourage fellow South Australians to support Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea.
A Cancer Council SA Ambassador, Stella says that the organisation supported her family when they needed it most.
“When I was just 11 years old, my Nan was diagnosed with stomach cancer,” said Stella.
“Being so young, I didn’t really understand what was going on, but I can remember it being a really difficult time for everyone in the family.”
“Nan was given just three months live, which at the time my family decided not to tell me. She was really lucky and through new advancements in radiation therapy, she was able to outlive her diagnosis and survive for 18 months. She passed away in 2008.”
“Throughout that time, mum actively reached out to Cancer Council SA for support,” said Stella.
“My Nan was a nurse and was able to understand a lot of the medical terms associated with her diagnosis, which she passed on to mum. However, Mum still found it challenging being a carer for someone so close to her. Cancer Council SA were there for mum if and when she needed it, providing her with support and information on how to best be there for Nan, and for the whole family. It’s that support that we are all still eternally grateful for today.”
Now, more than 10 years on, Stella says she is ready to share her story in the hope that it will inspire others.
“I have always supported Cancer Council SA in small ways, but it’s taken me over 10 years to be able to really grieve the loss of my Nan. It took me a really long time to be able to talk about her without crying. Last year, I finally felt I was ready to share my experience and decided to sign up to be a Cancer Council SA Ambassador. It was a bit of a gut instinct and something I felt I was ready to do.”
Three weeks after contacting Cancer Council SA, Stella’s life was once again turned upside down by cancer.
“It wasn’t long after I sent the email that I found out a close friend of mine was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. He passed away just five days later. It was all so sudden, and cemented my decision to do something to give back.
“A week later, I met with Cancer Council SA and signed up as an Ambassador.”
This May, Stella will be getting behind Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea by sharing her story at local morning tea events to inspire others.
“That’s the thing about cancer, it’s really hard for people who haven’t lived through it to understand how life changing it can be. For me, sharing my story is a chance to let people know that whatever they’re facing, they’re not in it alone.”
For those thinking about signing up to host a morning tea this year, her message is to just do it.
“Hosting an event really is a chance for you to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, show your support and fundraise to make a difference.”
“Whether you raise $10, $100 or $1000, every dollar really does count.”
Cancer Council’s largest fundraising event, Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea see’s hosts across the country come together over a cuppa and a bite to eat in support of those affected by cancer. Last year alone, the simple act of generous participants hosting a morning tea raised $11.3 million nationally.
In 2019, the official day to host a morning tea is Thursday, 23 May, however participants can register to host at any time throughout May or June. By hosting or attending a morning tea anywhere in South Australia, hosts will help Cancer Council fund life-saving cancer research, prevention, advocacy and support programs for people affected by cancer.
Cancer Council SA Chief Executive Lincoln Size says support from events like Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea makes a huge difference to the lives of South Australians impacted by cancer.
“The money raised through the simple act of hosting a morning tea enables us to continue our work in cancer research, prevention programs, advocacy and support services to ensure that every day, we are working towards a cancer free future.
“Cancer diagnosis rates are increasing, with one Australian diagnosed with cancer approximately every five minutes—the length of an average tea break. It’s vitally important that those affected can access suitable services when they are needed most.
“Cancer impacts people in every community. In South Australia alone, more than 10,000 people are diagnosed with cancer every year—that’s 27 South Australians every day. Through the support of our morning tea hosts, we are able to ensure that every minute, every hour, every day, they don’t have to face their diagnosis alone” he said.
Cancer Council SA offers all South Australians impacted by cancer support and information through services like Cancer Council 13 11 20 and the Cancer Council Lodges at Flinders and Greenhill.
This year, Cancer Council SA hopes to recruit over 3,500 generous morning tea hosts and raise over $1.2 million locally to help those affected by cancer in South Australia. All donations fund Cancer Council SA’s life-saving research, prevention programs, advocacy and support services.
For more information or to register, visit www.biggestmorningtea.com.au or call 1300 65 65 85. If you’re unable to host or attend a morning tea yourself and still want to contribute, you can donate directly through the website at biggestmorningtea.com.au.