How Walk4BrainCancer Bowral Began
August 26, 2019
Lucinda O’Brien and her team at Walk4BrainCancer Cronulla in 2014
In 2017, Lucinda O’Brien hosted her first Walk4BrainCancer in her home town of Bowral. Here she shares her tips for those thinking of hosting a walk of their own.
By Lucinda O’Brien
My healthy and vibrant mum was diagnosed with a GBM 4 in 2014 at just 59 years old. We had no idea about the survival rates for brain cancer until we were thrown into a world that we didn’t want to be in. She was given 14 months to live but survived almost 30 months.
Our first experience with the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation was attending the Cronulla Walk4BrainCancer in 2014. We then attended the Canberra walk in 2015, and after losing Mum in 2016 we again attended the Canberra walk.
It was then I decided that the next year I would host my own locally, especially as a friend of mine lost her mum two weeks after mine to the exact same thing. We want to raise funds to go towards the research to improve the survival rates and even a cure one day so no more families like ours have to endure the heartbreak of watching their loved one pass from brain cancer.
As I had never done anything like this before, I wasn’t sure how to go about it, but found the staff from Cure Brain Cancer Foundation extremely helpful and encouraging all the way up to and after my event.
I found the whole experience to be very humbling and positive. The feedback from the participants was also very positive, which is a big reason why we’re doing it again.
Some tips to assist with your own local Walk4BrainCancer would be:
- Get organised – I got a folder and divided it into sections eg. Entertainment, Food and Drink, etc and then put a plastic sleeve with each to put any dockets, receipts or paperwork to keep it all together. It became my ‘bible’ so to speak and I took it with me if I needed to meet up with anyone on site or out and about, so I had all the information I needed on hand
- Lock in your venue early if possible, fill out all necessary paperwork, council and insurance. Try to get a plan of the venue or draw a mud map to get a rough idea where you will place everything, so it flows and works well
- Then you can focus on the fun stuff like organising entertainment, food, sourcing donations for raffles and prizes or even major sponsors. Approach any local clubs to see if they would like to supply a BBQ, we found the local community extremely supportive and keen to help out. This year we are having a vintage car display, a small steam engine club, and some local market stalls to encourage the participants to hang around a bit longer and hopefully have something to eat and drink and buy some merchandise 🙂
- Create a fun atmosphere with music, balloons, and happy volunteers. We had a mobile coffee van arrive early so people could get a coffee before starting
- Get family and friends to help if they can and delegate or form a little committee. Now that I have one under my belt, I am much more confident about what needs to be done and I’m better at accepting help to do it