AS the Cancer Council’s Daffodil Day Appeal continues throughout August, culminating with Daffodil Day next Friday, it’s a timely reminder that cancer touches so many of us and that, in 2020, the Cancer Council supported 89 people in Mildura who were diagnosed with cancer.

Mildura resident Carol Nicolson is this year’s Daffodil Day local ambassador and she has a ‘My Hair Dare’ page on the Australian Cancer Research Foundation website, which allows people to donate to her fund raising efforts.

“My involvement with Daffodil Day came about through my father Allan Stevenson, who is 74, being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016, which was pretty scary,” Carol said.

“As dad said, it was his own fault because he didn’t want to make the 300-kilometre round trip from Ouyen to Swan Hill for a check-up.

“By the time they got the results of his tests and confirmed the diagnosis in September 2016, the doctors told him he would be lucky to see Christmas.

“Dad asked if there was anything they could do and he underwent a new trial treatment and touch wood, almost five years later, we still have him at this stage, but the cancer has metastasised throughout his body and is in his bones.

“Dad’s cancer brought me into contact with Relay for Life and a group of girls who all had a background with someone they knew with cancer.”

Carol said because she had a family history of cancer she wanted to be come actively involved in raising funds for research.

“I thought I am going to do something to make a difference and help raise funds to go toward cancer research,” she said.

“Anthony from the Daffodil Day Foundation and asked me how I felt about telling my story and I said I didn’t have a problem – I am glad to talk about it and to help promote awareness.

“Cancer Council Victoria is there for support – it’s there for accommodation – it helps with travel expenses – it does a lot and people probably don’t realise that! That’s why it relies so much funding from donations.”

Carol is a caring person who works in the disability sector supporting people to lead more independent lives.

“I’m a disability support worker with MASP and I help our clients with their everyday living needs which takes in everything from their hygiene to assisting them with their shopping, cooking, going out, showing them how to use transport, how to go to the bank,” she said.

“Learning how to live independently and not having to rely on other people − basically being able to look after themselves − gives them hope for tomorrow that they can do things on their own.”

With an average of 361 people diagnosed with cancer in Mildura each year, chances are that most people in the community have been touched by cancer in one way or another.

This Daffodil Day, Cancer Council Victoria is encouraging people to use their ‘Flower Power’ to make a positive impact on the lives of people affected by cancer by donating to fund vital cancer research.

Cancer Council Victoria head of fund raising and communication Lyrian Fleming-Parsley said: “The daffodil is recognised as a symbol of hope the world over and hope has always been at the heart of our mission.”

“I hope that on Daffodil Day the people of Mildura will support Cancer Council to help fund life-saving cancer research by donating online or by becoming a Yellow Fund-raiser,” she said.

“Local community involvement will be vital in helping Cancer Council Victoria reach its goal of raising more than $690,000 to fund life-saving cancer research.”

As Daffodil Day approaches, Carol is asking people to dig deep and to give as much as they can.

“Reach into your pockets for Daffodil Day,” she said. “A small donation can go a long way to support cancer research. We’d like to knock cancer on the head.”

Carol plans to do something “zany” with her hair at the end of the month when the appeal finishes.

And as the message on her website portal says: “I’m taking on the ‘Hair Dare’. I’m asking 20 friends to donate $20 each and once they do, I’ll cut, colour or shave my hair! Dare me and donate today to Outsmart Cancer.”

To make a donation to Carol’s fundraising page visit: https://shave.acrf.com.au/fundraisers/carolnicolson.