Often embarking on a mission to create awareness around a noble cause can be daunting, but with the full support of the community behind you, nothing seems impossible.
On this journey, you hope to educate, rally and even inspire people from all walks of life. A cause I recently rallied behind is very close to home for me, cancer. On Sunday 26 June, I hosted Australia’s Biggest Afternoon Tea at my humble abode in Cherrybrook for the Cancer Council Organisation.
More than 50 people gathered from Cherrybrook and surrounding suburbs, together as a community to support this cause. It was also very important to see community leaders attend the tea; thank you to Hornsby Shire Mayor Philip Ruddock and Councillor Sreeni Pillamarri. I appreciate the overwhelming response from everyone who attended the afternoon tea.
When I was in college one of my friend’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and during that time awareness about this disease was very limited. A few years later, she passed away. It pained me to see my friend’s grief and how I could do nothing to help her.
My husband’s mother also passed away from leukaemia, so I understand the pain and stress families go through during these hard times. Which is why I hosted this afternoon tea to raise awareness and lifted my cup for a cancer free future.
My family has always supported this cause in different ways. Whether it be via raising funds for breast cancer with my close friends and family or a yoga session I conducted for Cancer Councils Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea last year. This year’s afternoon tea at my house raised more than $2,000.
My husband Vijay was a big support, even making Indian cardamom tea for everyone. My children felt proud of their mother and encouraged me. My family helped me immensely in making this afternoon tea a memorable and rewarding experience.
You know you are blessed when you have friends and the broader community who come forward and want to help in any way they can, many of my friends made food for this special cause, others sponsored prizes for the winners of the games (such as raffles) and truly made a difference to the event. Through this afternoon tea, it gave everyone in the community an opportunity to come together, share stories, connect and have fun as one big family.
Holding events like this is very important not only for the cause, but also to inspire others in the community to do similar events which will further echo the message. A message from our community to everyone is that we must be conscious of our body and any changes noticed are not to be taken easily. It is important to get yourselves checked regularly.
My journey doesn’t stop here, I will continue to spread the word to ensure a cancer free future. Cancer is a common disease and a major health problem in Australia today. At current rates, it is expected one in two Australians will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85. We as a community need to come together and fight this disease together, there are many ways to get behind this cause and support it and this event was merely the start of my journey.
– SANGEETA AGARWAL, CHERRYBROOK