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Goolwa local Rochelle Tipple is taking part in Cancer Council’s The March Charge this month for a very special reason—to support her daughter Emma, who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer.

Emma, who recently celebrated her 32nd birthday, was diagnosed in January this year. A Youth Worker at the local high school, Rochelle said Emma originally put her symptoms down to exhaustion at the end of a long year.

“She was feeling incredibly tired and run down and had a few bowel issues, but thought it was just end of year fatigue,” Rochelle said.

“However, on 27 December, after days of vomiting and being unable to leave her bed, she ended up in emergency. Feeling like it was more than a stomach bug, she insisted on a CT scan, which revealed a tumour around 7cm long. Within a few weeks, it had grown to 12cm by 8.3cm,” she said.

It was an incredibly hard time for Rochelle and her family, who had already seen a number of close family members impacted by cancer.

“My husband was diagnosed with cancer three years ago and my father battled prostate and skin cancer. My oldest daughter Alisha also lost her fiancée to cancer 12 years ago when he was just 20 years old,” she said.

Following Emma’s diagnosis Rochelle’s family, led by her eldest daughter Alisha, signed up for Cancer Council’s The March Charge with the rest of the family to support Emma and make a difference. Their team, ‘Just Beat It’ have already raised more than $3,700 and are hoping to reach their goal of $5,000 by the end of the month.

“We have many reasons to take part in The March Charge, but Emma is our inspiration. Her siblings and their spouses, as well as Emma’s 12 year-old daughter Ella (who has already raised over $1000), are also a part of our team, which is awesome.”

“I know it has really touched Emma to know that we are all here and really care and want to make a difference,” she said.

“I am loving the sense of togetherness and the strength and support that comes from us all taking part. It’s really empowering, we feel like we’re there with her doing something to give back.”

“As a mother in particular, you want to help fix your child’s problems and take away their hurt, but you can’t fix the cancer, you can only do what you can to help and support. Emma is based in Adelaide’s North, so I’ve been staying with her throughout her treatment to support her and her family.”

“Often, I feel so helpless, so this really was my way to do something proactive and make a difference, all while showing our support to Emma,” she said.

Held throughout March, Cancer Council’s The March Charge sees participants set a fitness goal either individually or as a team to complete throughout the month, with all the money raised supporting Cancer Council’s life-saving cancer research programs.

“Emma recently finished her first round of combined radiation and chemotherapy and she’s been inspirational, her attitude is just amazing. Through taking part together, we can see that we’re giving Emma strength, which is a beautiful thing to be a part of.”

For more information or to make a donation, visit the team fundraising page here.