Brother’s memory honoured
As a co-ordinator of Friends of the Foundation, Gayle Harman donates countless hours to a great cause.
WHAT IS YOUR ROLE?
My role is co-ordinator of Friends of the Foundation — A Leukaemia Foundation Community Group.
This is quite a varied role, which includes organising fundraising events, liaising with Friends of the Foundation members and Leukaemia Foundation representatives, along with guiding anyone who has been diagnosed with a blood cancer — leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and other related blood disorders to the appropriate people within the foundation for assistance, which can include medical, emotional or financial.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE ROLE?
I started Friends of the Foundation in Albany in 2012, so almost five years.
This was after completing Neil’s Walk from Perth to Albany in memory of my brother Neil Stephens, who battled T-cell prolymphocytic leukaemia, a very rare form of blood cancer.
WHY DO YOU ENJOY IT?
I enjoy being able to give back to the community and the Leukaemia Foundation. If you don’t volunteer and give time to groups and organisations within the community, I think it would be a very poor society to live in. Having had my parents and other role models who have always volunteered, from when I was a young child, I saw volunteering as something you did.
With this particular role, it is enjoyable and very rewarding to see the difference a chat or a few dollars can make to someone or family enduring a blood cancer journey.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEMORY?
A memory that is a favourite, and I hold dear, was from December 2009 and being with Neil at a specialist’s visit about four months after his diagnosis and being told if it wasn’t for advances in blood research, he would not have seen Christmas. This Christmas was the last Christmas we had with Neil and those times are very special.
I also enjoy the twilight walk with lanterns at Light the Night each November at Emu Point.
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