Brother’s mem­ory hon­oured

Albany Advertiser - - NEWS - Tayler Neale

As a co-or­di­na­tor of Friends of the Foun­da­tion, Gayle Har­man do­nates count­less hours to a great cause.

WHAT IS YOUR ROLE?

My role is co-or­di­na­tor of Friends of the Foun­da­tion — A Leukaemia Foun­da­tion Com­mu­nity Group.

This is quite a var­ied role, which in­cludes or­gan­is­ing fundrais­ing events, li­ais­ing with Friends of the Foun­da­tion mem­bers and Leukaemia Foun­da­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tives, along with guid­ing any­one who has been di­ag­nosed with a blood cancer — leukaemia, lym­phoma, myeloma and other re­lated blood disor­ders to the ap­pro­pri­ate peo­ple within the foun­da­tion for as­sis­tance, which can in­clude med­i­cal, emo­tional or fi­nan­cial.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE ROLE?

I started Friends of the Foun­da­tion in Al­bany in 2012, so al­most five years.

This was after com­plet­ing Neil’s Walk from Perth to Al­bany in mem­ory of my brother Neil Stephens, who bat­tled T-cell pro­lym­pho­cytic leukaemia, a very rare form of blood cancer.

WHY DO YOU EN­JOY IT?

I en­joy be­ing able to give back to the com­mu­nity and the Leukaemia Foun­da­tion. If you don’t vol­un­teer and give time to groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions within the com­mu­nity, I think it would be a very poor so­ci­ety to live in. Hav­ing had my par­ents and other role mod­els who have al­ways vol­un­teered, from when I was a young child, I saw vol­un­teer­ing as some­thing you did.

With this par­tic­u­lar role, it is en­joy­able and very re­ward­ing to see the dif­fer­ence a chat or a few dol­lars can make to some­one or fam­ily en­dur­ing a blood cancer jour­ney.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MEM­ORY?

A mem­ory that is a favourite, and I hold dear, was from De­cem­ber 2009 and be­ing with Neil at a spe­cial­ist’s visit about four months after his di­ag­no­sis and be­ing told if it wasn’t for ad­vances in blood re­search, he would not have seen Christ­mas. This Christ­mas was the last Christ­mas we had with Neil and those times are very spe­cial.

I also en­joy the twi­light walk with lanterns at Light the Night each Novem­ber at Emu Point.

Pic­ture: Talitha Wolfe

Gayle Har­man is a co-or­di­na­tor for Friends of the Foun­da­tion. Spon­sored by

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