A cancer in your brain the size of a tennis ball is not the news anyone wants to hear, but former sufferer Ann Willmington and her family had to deal with just that.
Eight years since her diagnosis, Mrs Willmington has worked hard in raising awareness and much-needed funds for research for the Cure Brain Cancer foundation, and it’s paid off.
On Friday, Mrs Willmington presented a cheque to the foundation with the proceeds from the last five annual Music for Life Balls that totalled a whopping $320,173.
“We’ve got to stick together and keep raising this,” she said.
Around 1600 people in Australia are diagnosed with brain cancer every year, and another 1200 sadly pass away from it.
There is currently no cure, and the annual Music for Life Ball aims to raise as much funds as possible for research to find one.
This year’s event on September 17 at the Penrith Paceway raised $33,433 alone, with plans for next year’s ball already in the works.
Director of Cure Brain Cancer Marcella Zemanek, whose husband and famous radio broadcaster Stan Zemanek passed away from brain cancer in 2007, is delighted by the generosity of the Penrith region.
“I was so impressed and blown away by the community,” she said.
“Ann and her husband Wayne are two of the most beautiful people I’d ever met and they just did a fantastic job.”
Ms Zemanek didn’t make this year’s ball, but she addressed the first ever Music for Life and said she knows they are an incredible night for everyone involved.
“I was so sad I couldn’t be here this year because I love coming… I know that every year it just keeps getting better and better, and they do an amazing job,” she said.
“Thank you to all of the sponsors for getting behind Music for Life because it’s functions like this that help us. We are really, really doing our best to try and crack the code of what’s causing this terribly insidious disease.”
On November 30, Music for Life will be hosting a family fun day at the Luddenham Showground.
For more information, contact Anne Willmington on 4731 1876.