There’s a lot of laughter, a bevy of banter, a dash of sass and plenty of positivity.
For women who have stared death in the face Cathy Mackenzie, Sharnee McCoy, Katie Eldridge and Dorinda Watson all get it — and ‘it’ is hard to get unless you have been through it.
These ladies are cancer survivors. As good as that is there’s more, because they are also inspirational.
And good fun.
‘‘Looking around at each of us, I realise, oh, yes, we have survived cancer,’’ Sharnee said.
‘‘I forget that sometimes.’’
How you forget that is amazing but all four agree that is not what defines them and that is not what they need to focus on.
Instead, they’re turning their past devastation into motivation, and hope for the future — of all cancer victims.
This month they are staging Unite to Fight — a cocktail function aimed at raising funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
The world-leading integrated cancer research, treatment and education centre will use the money to research better treatments and cancer cures.
For these four women, it’s a deeply personal cause.
‘‘I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and underwent chemo for 12 months — it was the toughest 12 months, the fear and the unknown, all while juggling little kids,’’ Katie said.
‘‘But that’s part of the reason I want to help people. I had such great support from family and friends while I battled cancer.’’
Both Sharnee and Cathy bravely fought — and defeated — stage 3 breast cancer.
While for Dorinda, cancer has tragically, repeatedly, touched her family — her mother died of bowel cancer, her aunts had breast cancer and seven years ago it was her turn when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.
‘‘I was lucky, though. I had surgery and didn’t need any more treatment,’’ she said.
‘‘No one’s lucky,’’ Sharnee piped up.
‘‘We’ve all had to sit there and be told we’ve had cancer. That’s not easy for anyone. We’ve all had to tell hysterical sisters and partners and kids.
‘‘But we’re all passionate about fundraising and bringing greater awareness to cancer.’’
The Unite to Fight cocktail function will be held on Saturday, May 26 from 7pm at The Mill Echuca.
It’ll be a night of dinner, drinking and dancing, all to support the fight against cancer.
Finger food will be provided, with live entertainment by Wild Things.
All tickets are $45 and include free entry into a draw to win a weekend for 12 people on a luxury houseboat donated by Executive Houseboats, two double passes to the Perricoota Pop and Pour Festival 2018 or a spread of goodies from Snap Fitness including a three-month membership.
Plus there’ll be plenty of other great raffle prizes up for grabs, donated generously from businesses around town.
To book a prized ticket for the event, visit stickytickets.com.au/66446/unite—to—fight——cocktail—function.aspx