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Tara’s fight against ‘cansa’

Beatrice Smith

Hi, I’m Tara. I love to read and I love to do science, physics and biology. I am seven.”

The reason I am raising money for the Cancer Council is because I think it is a really great cause to raise money for. I hope the money that I raise will help them get the research that they need to make the right medicine to cure cancer.

My Juju had cancer and she died. I love her and I miss her and I loved to read stories with her. 

Thank you for helping support people with cancer.

Love Tara”

This was seven-year-old Tara’s Facebook post on her mother’s account to announce her very own Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea. But this won’t be Tara’s first foray into fundraising.  Earlier last year, at six years old, Tara took to the driveway with her ukulele and a handmade sign, determined to entertain the neighbours and raise money to “help peple with cansa”.

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Fundraising for cancer research is close to Tara’s heart, explains her mum, photographer Rebecca Doyle.

“My Mum, Judi, passed away age 64, after a 15-month courageous battle with pancreatic cancer,” explains Rebecca.

“[Tara] knew her “Juju” was unwell, but at the time she didn’t know this was due to cancer,” explains Bec. “Tara and my Mum had a special bond, and they would sit and read together, talk endlessly about art galleries and generally end up rolling on the floor in giggles.”

That bond was so special it has inspired something quite remarkable.

“In June last year, my Mum lost her brave battle with cancer,” explains Bec. “Since that time Tara and I have developed an EveryDay Hero fundraising page and within only three weeks raised $3000.”

“She maintains this fundraising page and sits down and types out a thank you message to everyone who leaves some words of support or a donation—friends and strangers alike.”

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When Tara saw the Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea ad on TV, she leapt at the chance to help and is now looking forward to hosting her very own morning tea at her house.

Awareness about many forms of cancer may have risen in the past decade thanks to strenuous public health campaigns, however, Rebecca is painfully aware that no matter the awareness levels, a cure for cancer is still the Holy Grail.

“Pancreatic cancer has a five-year survival rate of 6.8%, which has not improved for 30 years,” she explains. “It has no screening test, its treatment options are few, and unfortunately many of its symptoms are described as ‘vague’ and can come and go.”

“My Mum’s cancer was found purely by chance, and at this stage, had spread to other organs. She powered through chemo for a long time, determined to buy more time with her family.”

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This cure is exactly what Tara wants her fundraising to go towards and Rebecca says she’s fuelled by her love of science and innovation, as well as the memory of her grandmother.

“Tara is determined to raise money so researchers can develop ‘medicine so people with cancer can get better’,” she says. “She’s a budding scientist and has been invited along to a special tour of the John Curtin School of Medical Research at Australian National University and for a special meeting with the lovely people at the ACT Cancer Council.”

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HOW YOU CAN HELP

You can help Tara raise money for cancer research through her Everyday Hero page here.

If you’d like to host your own Biggest Morning Tea, you can find out more information and download a fundraising kit here.

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Beatrice Smith

Bea loves that her job as HerCanberra’s Editorial Coordinator involves eating, drinking and interviewing people - sometimes simultaneously. The master of HerCanberra’s publishing schedule, she’s usually found hunched over a huge calendar muttering to herself about content balance. Otherwise you’ll find her at the movies, ordering a cheese board or ordering a cheese board at the movies. More about the Author

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