Cancer Council SA Ambassador Letchemi Pillai knows firsthand the impact of a cancer diagnosis. This Daffodil Day, she is sharing her story to inspire others and support those impacted by a cancer diagnosis.
In 2009, Letchemi was diagnosed with breast cancer following a routine mammogram at the mobile breast cancer screening unit in Waikerie.
Being from regional South Australia, Letchemi turned to Cancer Council’s Greenhill Lodge for support, staying there for six weeks while receiving treatment.
‘I had to undergo surgery pretty quickly followed by six weeks of radiotherapy in Adelaide. Being from a regional community I needed to travel to Adelaide for treatment and Cancer Council were there to provide support for me when I needed it most.”
“Greenhill Lodge became my home for six weeks and it was during that time that I volunteered my services to Cancer Council SA. Going through treatment and being involved in support services through volunteering gave me a great sense of the incredible work Cancer Council does in the community.
“I signed up as an ambassador not long after I finished treatment and have been involved with Cancer Council SA ever since.”
Letchemi says that she has volunteered on Daffodil Day for several years, and even though she can’t take part this year, the cause is more important than ever before.
“My husband and I have volunteered at Daffodil Day for a number of years and it’s so rewarding and encouraging to see the community come together on such an important day,” she said.
“This year, Daffodil Day is even more important for us as my husband will shortly have surgery for prostate cancer. Knowing that the money raised will fund research across all cancers, including those that have impacted us directly, is really important and we can’t wait to be back next year with our volunteer gear on again to make a difference.”
Even though Daffodil Day might look a little bit different this year, Letchemi encourages South Australians to still show their support.
“We know that based on statistics, almost all of us will experience a cancer diagnosis or know someone who has. One day, we will see research succeed in finding a cure for cancer and not only achieving remission.”
“All South Australians can help out and raise funds. The money raised really does make a difference,” she said.
The Daffodil Day Appeal will take place throughout August, culminating in Daffodil Day on Friday 28 August 2020.
In 2020 Daffodil Day celebrates 34 years of turning Australia yellow, with Cancer Council aiming to raise $2 million nationally for cancer research through online donations.
Cancer Council and its research partners direct almost $60 million annually to research grants for vital research projects across Australia, making the organisation the largest not-for-profit funder of cancer research in Australia.
In South Australia, Cancer Council SA partners with SA Health, SAHMRI and the SA Universities to fund the Cancer Council’s Beat Cancer Project, a unique collaboration which funds the state’s best and brightest cancer researchers to work toward the next cancer breakthrough.
Cancer Council SA Chief Executive Lincoln Size said every day, even throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, 28 South Australians are diagnosed with cancer, which is why Cancer Council’s vital work in cancer research must continue.
“Despite advances made in research and improving survival rates for many cancers, we know that 28 South Australians are diagnosed with cancer every day. We also know that less funding will be available for research due to the current climate, which is why it’s more important than ever before to ensure we support the work of our researchers.”
“We rely on the generosity of community donations to help us fund this work. Money raised this year will provide more than hope to people affected by cancer, it will fund vital cancer research that is saving lives every day.”
This year in South Australia you can support Cancer Council’s Daffodil Day Appeal in the following ways:
- Grab your fresh Daffodils from our CBD locations, including Rundle Mall and Gawler Place on Daffodil Day on Friday 28 August;
- If you can’t make it into the city on Daffodil Day, you can make a donation online or buy a virtual daffodil any time throughout August; or
- Head into your local Foodland store from Friday 14 August and buy a daffodil dedication to add to the in-store Daffodil Day display.
For more information visit the Daffodil Day website or call 1300 65 65 85.