Locals in the small Western Australian mining town of Newman gathered recently for a cocktail party to mark the passing of a “valued friend and brother” and at the same time also to aid cancer research.
“Cocktails for Cancer”, was organized by Chantelle ‘Channy’ Smoor and Sheree Clark to honour Chantelle’s brother John Simpson. Earlier this year John was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive cancer in his neck called Rhabdomyosarcoma, He sadly passing away “peacefully” on June 22 with family by his side.
John was only 27 and according to his sister “fought hard to fight the cancer”. He left behind a young daughter Ally.
Determined to honour her brother, Channy organized the cocktail event in Newman, a town of 8000 residents in outback Western Australia, raising a staggering $25,443.95.
A feature of the night was Channy’s speech, which “inspired” many present.
She told the audience “The reason we are all here tonight is to help raise money for ACRF which funds research into ALL types of cancer out there”.
“Cancer is one of the highest killing illnesses effecting Australians today.”
She pointed out that many residents of Newman had been affected by the disease.
“We are all aware of why we are here tonight. Someone be it a family member, friend or yourselves has been affected by or has cancer in some form. I have been affected through a family member with cancer, my own brother, and that’s why I organized this event.”
“John was the oldest of three and was a fit, active and healthy person who in his spare time played drums for a band and worked hard for a living.
Sadly John passed away two and a half months ago, just four months after his rare cancer was diagnosed.
Channy said her brother’s legacy would live on.
“Not a day goes by where I don’t think about him or his baby girl, my beautiful niece Alyssia. We promised him that we would never let her forget how strong her daddy was and how much he loved her. John will always be a hero to my family and we will never forget how hard he fought for his young life.”
“For now all we can do is do our bit to try and stop this from happening to future generations to aid research to find a cure for ALL cancers.”
Channy ending her speech with these parting words to the crowd of over 100 people:
Channy & Keith”I would like to say thanks to everyone here for attending because without all of you there wouldn’t have been a Cocktails for Cancer.
I hope you all have a wonderful night and for helping me make this event a success.
Who knows this could become a yearly event. I know I would love to be a part of that!”
ACRF profoundly thanks Channy and all the lovely attendees to this fantastic event. Our research grants would not be possible without your wonderful support.