This is an important blog. It is important because I want to highlight the amazing work of a very special organisation.
Redkite is an organisation set up to support young people (under the age of 24) with cancer, as well as their family. Their support is extensive and holistic. They do not just look after the person with cancer, but make sure the patient’s family and friends have the support necessary to get through this difficult time. They ensure that the impact of cancer does not cause financial stress. They assist young people to continue to achieve their career and educational aspirations. They provide emotional support and guidance. And, when necessary, they support their clients through grief and loss.
Pretty amazing, aren’t they?
Redkite has been a security blanket for Serge and I. Although we have not called on them for all their available services, their support has been paramount in relieving some of our stress, in particular, financial stress.
Serge and I started our relationship with a pretty big challenge, the challenge of cancer. I returned from East Timor after a year of volunteering… with limited savings. The plan was to go back to university and work part time. I quickly realised that I could not manage my new melanoma diagnosis, as well as work and study. Luckily I was living with mum and dad and they were able to provide financial support. However, the time came when Serge and I decided to move in together. Serge was to be the sole ‘breadwinner’ in our household and I would receive some support from Centrelink. Once again, we were faced with another challenge; I was told that I only had months to live. Serge took leave from work to spend time with me. So we were living purely on government support. Since I have been responding to treatment, Serge has returned to part time work.
We are extremely lucky that my parents have been able to assist if needed, as financially cancer is a huge struggle. You are told by doctors to enjoy life, but enjoying life can be quite an expensive exercise. You learn that you have to make sacrifices.
I was asked how Redkite could help me financially. Did I need help paying bills? Did I need fuel vouchers? We chose to receive Coles vouchers to help with our groceries.
For me, being as healthy as possible is essential to ensure that my body and immune system is strong and functioning at it’s best. We all know just how expensive it is to eat healthy, so Redkite’s support has enabled us to do this.
One of my biggest challenges has been giving up study and working. There was a period of time when I contemplated completing a course… a course in anything really (Serge wanted me to do a cake decorating course, I wonder why?). I also have considered going back to university. They are thoughts that still cross my mind and something I will ponder further after ‘Through the Looking Glass’ in February. But, I know when the time comes, there is a mystery man (Luke) behind the scenes at Redkite that will be there to support me through this process.
Redkite made my mum cry the other day, but in the best possible way. My mum cried happy tears after receiving a very thoughtful gift. My family was delivered a box of goodies to enjoy over Christmas. It was such a simple way to acknowledge that the struggle is not just for the individual with cancer, but their entire family. I thank Redkite for this.
I want to acknowledge Redkite for everything they have done for my family, but also for all the other families they assist on a daily basis. I encourage you all to make a donation to this wonderful organisation. It is very simple; you can make a $2 donation at Coles Supermarkets or online. If everyone gave $2 each time they purchased groceries, this would enable Redkite to continue their wonderful cancer support services.