Samuel Johnson bringing Love Your Sister back to Canberra with a bang. | HerCanberra

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Samuel Johnson bringing Love Your Sister back to Canberra with a bang.

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It’s been five years since Canberra lost Connie Johnson to breast cancer.

Connie’s was a particularly courageous and public fight as she sought to raise money for breast cancer research, aided and abetted by her little brother, actor and Gold Logie winner Samuel Johnson and a veritable army of supporters (Connie’s Vollies, bless them one and all).

To mark the five-year anniversary, to acknowledge that “cancer is a formidable foe” and needs to be kicked in the arse with more funding for research—and just because Samuel will never stop fighting to stop other families from facing the gaping hole that Connie has left in hers—he is coming back to Canberra. And quite frankly, he wants your cash.

Samuel and the Love Your Sister army are rolling into town in September and they need you!

But in exchange, Love Your Sister is going to put on a hum-dinger of a Family Fun Day with music, food trucks, market stalls, a live petting zoo and fun and games for kids of all ages. The event will take place on 11 September back at the Lyneham Netball Courts and Sam will be there with bells on, thanking people in person and ensuring the crowds know how much they are raising at the day progresses. It’s a gold coin donation to get in and Sam has high hopes that the city that is the beating heart of Love Your Sister will get behind the event.

In the lead-up, Samuel is on the lookout for local businesses to support the Family Fun Day by becoming a Sponsor. They will receive Sam’s heartfelt thanks, plus promotion by the Love Your Sister army, not to mention the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to make a difference to cancer sufferers and their families.

Nobody works a market day thanking breast cancer research donors like Samuel Johnson.

Samuel will also be hosting another special evening in Canberra on September 9, where he will take to the podium at Eastlake in Gungahlin to tell his story. Combining his own words and some filmed pieces to reflect on the people and events that inspire him, Samuel promises this night will bring some big revelations, never-before-heard stories and quite a bit of “coarse language guaranteed so definitely an adults-only event”.

Samuel has been out of the spotlight for much of last year after surviving his own near-death experience, or what he otherwise describes as the “unfortunate incident of being hit on the head by a car” which happened when he was standing by the side a road and run over. We nearly lost him.

An evening with Samuel Johnson promises to be a very personal event.

It’s been a long road to recovery from the brain injury, starting with Samuel reading for 30 seconds at a time and re-learning how to make a cup of tea.

But Samuel says he has a new perspective on things as a result and is raring to go as the front man for Love Your Sister. “I love being at the coal face. I love what I do.”

Since forming Love Your Sister with Connie in 2012, the charity has raised more than $15 million, including setting a world record at Connie’s last public event, her Big Heart Project which took over the Lyneham Netball Courts and raised more than $2.5 million though a giant heart made from 5 cent coins.

“Love Your sister is Australia’s hardest working cancer vanquishing charity,” Samuel says.

“We proudly pass on 100 per cent of every donation received to scientific research. No skimming. No bullshit.”

It is also increasingly targeting demand from Australian cancer patients for “personalised” or “precision” cancer treatment journeys. Samuel is desperate for access to genomic testing, and the clinical research program for treatment that follows, to finally become a reality for cancer patients from all over the country. “Precision medicine can eradicate false lines of treatment entirely, save many lives and countless billions on ineffective drugs. It took three months to see whether the first drug administered to my sister was having a demonstrable effect on the size of her tumour. That’s three months she didn’t have. All up, she had three false lines of treatment and by the time we found the right drug, it was too late. This all could have been avoided if she’d had the test straight up, to determine the best treatment for her. The right drug, first time, every time. We did not offer this precision treatment a decade ago, when my sister was diagnosed, and too many patients are not being given access to it now. I’m fed up. This needs to change now, and when I say now, I mean yesterday.”

Connie did all she could to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. Her Big Heart project broke the world record for donations.

So as September creeps closer, Samuel and his team are hunting for community-minded people to get involved in fundraising or to support of the Family Fun Day by hosting a Market Stall. There are myriad ways to help – host a crazy sock day or a morning tea in your workplace, go for a run, shave your head, donate a percentage of a day’s profit or track them down a great raffle prize. Every dollar helps.

You can get in contact with Love Your Sister here.

To book tickets to An Evening with Samuel Johnson on September 9, go here.

To find details of the Family Fun Day on September 11, go here.




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