Alexandra participated in her first Marilyn Jetty Swim last February, just one month after losing her sister, Stephie to bowel cancer. Together with family and friends, she created the team Stephie’s Starlets in her memory and raised an incredible $7,500 for Cancer Council SA.
Alexandra’s family has been impacted by cancer, not just once, but twice. She lost her sister Rosie to breast cancer and Stephie passed away from bowel cancer just over a year ago on 1 January 2022.
“Stephie was an incredibly strong woman and she chose to make it a very private battle, so when she passed after a five year battle with it, it was a shock to our family,” Alexandra says.
It was shortly after Stephie passed, that Alexandra learnt that not only had Stephie made a huge personal donation to Cancer Council, but also that a work friend was taking part in the Marilyn Jetty Swim. She put the two together and Alexandra’s family and close friends signed up to join hundreds of Marilyns at Brighton Jetty and created a team in Stephie’s honour, Stephie’s Starlets.
“We had family and friends support me and the team—on the day my husband even stepped in for a friend who had to sit it out due to having COVID,” Alexandra says.
“Stephie’s husband Steve came along and he was really visibly moved by the occasion and the fact that so many people had donated to her team and wanted to support the family in a positive way.”
“There was a lot of camaraderie amongst people because we were all there for a common cause. It just felt like this really genuine spirit of support and being barely a month after Stephie passed, I really needed that at the time.”
“There is something incredible about the Marilyn Jetty Swim that just brings everyone together—it can seem a little bit frivolous and fun, however all of us have been touched by cancer, so people really do feel very happy to contribute or come down and get involved,” Alexandra says.
“Stephie’s passion was research into early detection because she believed that had her cancer been diagnosed and treated early, she would have survived. My hope is that the money I raise will continue Stephie’s legacy and help fund research to ensure other families don’t have to lose their loved ones to cancer.”
In 2022, Stephie’s Starlets raised over $7,500 for Cancer Council SA, making them the top fundraising team that year.
“We all found that people were happy to donate and one thing we did a lot of was communicating with family, friends and reaching out. We kept everyone updated on the Facebook page and personally acknowledged their donations,” Alexandra says.
“My biggest tip to this year’s Marilyn’s is to keep in touch with your network and personalising messages so that they can keep abreast of the activities on the day of the swim and sharing photos of the actual experience.”
“It’s such a wonderful time for us all to come together and celebrate Stephie and hopefully we’ll have more Starlets join the team this year to help us raise even more for Cancer Council SA in her honour.”
Cancer Council SA’s Marilyn Jetty Swim is an iconic part of the annual Channel 7 Brighton Jetty Classic which sees over 450 South Australians swim or paddle 400 metres around Brighton Jetty—dressed head to toe as ‘50s icon Marilyn Monroe.
To donate and support the bold, fabulous South Australians taking part in the Marilyn Jetty Swim visit themarilyns.org