11 July 2019
Ten year old Lachlan Marshall-Bates is doing Dry July with a difference, going ice cream free for the month to raise funds and awareness for Cancer Council SA.
His mum Tania explains that Lachlan came up with the idea after seeing the Dry July ad on TV.
“He asked me if he could do Dry July and I explained that he was too young to give up alcohol, instead suggesting he give up something he loves,” she said.
“Ice cream was the first thing that came to mind. He loves it, he would have it every day if I let him, so for him, it’s a huge sacrifice.”
Lachlan was motivated to raise funds and awareness for Cancer Council SA for a very personal reason. In 2013, when he was just four years old, he lost his dad to lung cancer.
“Paul was a non-smoker and the diagnosis was all really sudden—he was diagnosed in November and was gone three months later,” said Tania.
“Every time Lachlan now hears the word cancer, he reacts emotionally. He hates cancer and hates that it took his dad away from him,” she said.
“I’ve always tried to instil in Lachlan the power of positivity and how important it is to turn your negative feelings into positive ones.”
“It’s been hard for him, losing his dad so young. He often sees other boys his age kicking the footy with their dads and gets really upset—it’s tough for him to not have Paul there to share those special moments together.”
“This is the first time he suggested doing something to give back and turn his negative emotions into positive ones, which is a huge step,” she said.
Just over a week into his fundraiser, the motivated 10-year old has already raised more than $1,800 for Cancer Council SA.
Tania says that she’s incredibly proud of his efforts and commitment to helping others.
“He’s a really empathetic kid and is very attune to his emotions and the emotions of others.
“I think that it’s important for us to share our story, as there are so many families out there in a similar situation who have lost a parent or loved one.”
“It’s taken Lachlan a long while to get to the point where he wants to do something. I’ve always told him that everyone has their struggles, and it’s through positivity that we can make real change. I’m so proud of him for taking on the challenge,” she said.
Lachlan says giving up ice cream for the month is every bit worth the sacrifice.
“I don’t want anyone to go through what we’ve been through and want to raise money to make a world that’s cancer free,” he said.
You can find out more about Lachlan’s “Ice cream free July” fundraiser and donate here.