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  • National Patio Day has personal meaning for Kerry

    08 November 2019

    For Lilydale locals and Stratco Outback Patio Dealers Kerry and Peter Stanton, National Patio Day isn’t just a chance to celebrate the start of summer with family and friends—it’s also a chance to raise vital funds for a cause very close to their hearts. 

    Over four years ago, Kerry noticed a small bump halfway down her back. She went to her GP to get it checked, thinking that it was a mole or skin tag.

    “My doctor told me he would take a biopsy to make sure everything was ok, but he wasn’t too worried. I remember getting the call about a week or so after that appointment at home and thinking ‘it doesn’t seem right for the doctor to be ringing me.’ I picked up the phone and he said ‘I’m so sorry Kerry, but its melanoma.’ I was in complete shock,” she said. 

    Kerry underwent a PET scan and further tests, which confirmed that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. Another melanoma was also discovered on the front of her ear.  

    “It was such a stressful time, I had a number of tests and appointments and didn’t know what was going to happen. I ended up going into surgery and had a large cut and a part of my back removed, a full clearance under my right arm lymph glands and a skin graft from my shoulder to cover the skin removed from my ear.” 

    Luckily, the surgery was a success and Kerry was cleared from having any further treatments. Now, three years later, she admits that she’s one of the lucky ones. 

    “I know how dangerous melanoma is and that there are many people out there who aren’t as lucky as me. The experience definitely motivated me to protect my skin and the skin of my loved ones whenever we’re outdoors. I’ve definitely became an advocate for sun protection amongst my family and friends, it’s now a true passion of mine,” she said. 

    Kerry acknowledges that growing up, sun protection wasn’t always at the forefront for her family, which is why she’s so passionate about sharing her story as a warning to others.

    “To follow up, I have imaging, blood tests and skin check appointments done twice a year by my oncologist, surgeon and dermatologist,” she said.  

    “When I was younger, sun protection wasn’t ever really considered. Our parents took us down to the beach for holidays and we spent hours outdoors without ever thinking about the damage it could do. I can even remember getting sunstroke on more than one occasion because I spent too much time unprotected in the sun,” she said. 

    “I have been very SunSmart for over 30 years, certainly since our children were born. I think that the damage was probably done in my youth.” 

    ‘Now, years later, I see young girl’s sunbaking on the beach and I’m horrified. It makes me really sad to see, knowing the impact it can have on them in later life.” 

    This year, Cancer Council has joined with Stratco to launch National Patio Day, a new national campaign which celebrates the first Saturday of summer while also raising vital funds to support Cancer Council’s research, prevention, advocacy and support programs that save lives. 

    Kerry is excited to be leading the National Patio Day charge in her local town of Lilydale, hosting an event for more than 60 people at her house to raise funds in support of Cancer Council. 

    “I’m incredibly proud to be a part of an organisation that supports a campaign like National Patio Day. Not only does it raise awareness, it also raises vital funds for Cancer Council which will ensure all Australians are educated about the importance of protecting their skin whenever they’re outdoors.” 

    With two in three Australians diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70, Cancer Council SA Chief Executive Lincoln Size said that sun protection is vital in preventing skin cancer. 

    “We know that over exposure to UV is responsible for 99 per cent of all non-melanoma and 95 per cent of melanoma skin cancers. It’s so important to protect your skin whenever the UV is 3 and above through slipping on sun protective clothing, slopping on sunscreen, slapping on a hat, sliding on wraparound sunglasses and of course, seeking shade.”   

    “Summer is the perfect time to entertain family and friends, but it’s also the time when UV can be at its most damaging. By hosting an event on National Patio Day, you are not only supporting Australians impacted by cancer, but you are educating your family and friends on the important role sun protection plays in preventing skin cancer,” he said. 

    CEO of Stratco Ben Miels said that the organisation is proud to be supporting such a worthy cause. 

    “Gathering under your patio with family and friends is an essential part of summer and we are thrilled to be able to join with Cancer Council to launch this new campaign, which celebrates an iconic day in the Australian calendar while also educating Australians on how to cut their skin cancer risk,” he said. 

    In its inaugural year, National Patio Day hopes to recruit 2,000 hosts and raise critical funds to help all Australians impacted by cancer. Not only will funds raised support those impacted by cancer, every $50 you raise puts you in the draw to win either a Hafele Alfresco Kitchen, valued at $5,000 or a $500 Stratco gift card to deck out your outdoor living (visit the National Patio Day website for terms and conditions).

    For more information or to register, visit nationalpatioday.com.au or call 1300 65 65 85 to receive your free patio day host kit.  

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