THE courage of one man has sparked an amazing community response in Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest.
40-year-old Jay Allen is about to embark on a marathon walk from Brisbane to Sydney to raise money for Melanoma research.
Eight years ago Jay was your typical Aussie bloke, husband and dad who suddenly went from being a truck driver to a cancer patient.
“I just never thought it would happen to me,” Jay said. “I had a mole on my ankle that looked unusual and kept rubbing on my work boots and bleeding.’’
‘’It turned out to be a melanoma which had spread to my lymph nodes.”
Immediate surgery and treatment followed.
Jay is one of the lucky survivors.
The Myall Coast’s involvement in Jay’s journey began just over a week ago when local Margie Haseltine emailed First National’s Property Manager Kaye Simpson offering her apartment free of charge to Jay and his support crew when they arrive in Tea Gardens on Thursday 23 March.
Kaye Simpson picked up the ball and ran with it.
She spoke to Jenna Fidden from Mumm’s Restaurant in Tea Gardens and Jenna quickly came on board offering Jay and his crew a free dinner.
But the wheels kept on turning and Jenna decided a fundraising dinner was in order.
Mumm’s has now put together a special three course dinner @ $50 per person.
There will be ‘lucky door prizes’, raffles and donated bottles of wine with all proceeds going to the Melanoma Institute of Australia.
Bookings are essential.
Jay says he’s been overwhelmed by the response.
“The generosity of the people out there has been quite amazing.”
Melanoma is the number one cancer killer of Australians aged 20 to 39.
Jay has been training nearly every day for the past two years for his “Longest Melanoma March”.
“This will undoubtedly push me to the limits physically, but every step I take will be in memory of those who have died from melanoma and those who are currently fighting this disease,” Jay said.
To help Jay reach his $250,000 target, go to https://thelongestmelanomamarch.gofundraise.com.au.
By Margie TIERNEY