Racing car legends unite for Dunga Derby fundraiser
WHEN Janine and Ian Cawthray's son Mitchell was diagnosed with brain cancer three years ago, "normal" life stopped and hospital life took over.
It was with the help of charities like Rally for a Cause that some of the financial strain was alleviated while Mitchell and his mother lived in Brisbane for more than 12 months.
Mitchell underwent brain surgery and 30 sessions of radiation together with a clinical trial of chemotherapy before returning home to Hervey Bay in early 2016.
Ian continued to operate their mechanical workshop in Hervey Bay during the week and travelled to Brisbane each weekend to be with his family.
As part of reducing their debt load and to help with business overheads, Ian and Janine also sold some unwanted household items.
Among those items was model aeroplane equipment that was sold to Ludo Lacroix, who is a major party of the DJR Team Penske V8 Supercars team.
Ludo took a liking to young Mitchell and when Ian asked if he would consider coming to Hervey Bay to help raise funds for Rally for a Cause, Ludo agreed.
To do that, Dunga Derby team Car 42 Will Not Fit - made up of Ian Scott, Richard Boase and James Gill - are set to host their first and major fundraising event of the year on June 29, with Ludo and Supercar legend Scott McLaughlin and V8 Supercars commentator, Riana Crehan as special guests.
Janine said the evening would help Rally for a Cause continue to provide help to families impacted by a chronic or life-threatening illness.
"It is amazing that Scotty McLaughlin is coming here, given that he's head of the championship points at the moment and he's such an amazing guy," Janine said.
"The DJR Team Penske sponsors are rarely offered such an opportunity to get up close and personal with Ludo and Scotty.
"They are absolutely amazing people."
Proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to Rally for a Cause, while funds made from a charity auction on the night will go to the Charlie Teo Foundation in honour of Hervey Bay's Bree-Stella Blucher who lost her battle with cancer in 2016.
Part of Bree-Stella's treatment saw the family relocate to Brisbane, before travelling to America for further treatment and then to Dr Charlie Teo for surgery.
Janine hopes the evening will also recognise the efforts and vision of Dr Charlie Teo in directing the majority of funds raised towards research rather than administrative costs.
"I am hopeful that it will enable more awareness for childhood cancers and the debilitating effects that treatment has on children for many years after treatment has finished.
"Mitchell is doing really well and we want to focus on the positive, however it is a beast that is sleeping at the moment.
"We live each day as normally as possible because that is all Mitchell wanted to do when he came home from treatment. To be 'normal'.
"It's confronting when you see children dying of cancer. But that's what we live with. As a family with a child with cancer you live with that every day.
"It's like a monkey on your back and you never know when it's going to return, but we are grateful for each and every day we have."
DJR PENSKE SUPERCAR TEAM FUNDRAISER
- When: Friday, June 29.
- Where: Beach House Hotel.
- What: Scott McLaughlin from DJR Team Penske supercar team is bringing his crew for an exclusive dinner at the Beach House Hotel. The night will be MC'd by Riana Chehan from the V8 Supercars Commentary team. Merchandise will be available for signing on the night. Live music by Red Betty. General entry tickets includes a three-course dinner. Bookings can be made online at available at www.djrteampenske night.eventbrite.com
- Cost: $125.