Our mission is to make a difference by enabling people to celebrate the lives of their loved ones and in the process raise funds in a fun and enjoyable manner for cancer research and the services that support people with cancer, their carers, families and friends.
Story behind the Many Faces of Cancer.
The brainchild of Angie Nguyen, the name ‘Many Faces of Cancer’ symbolises the fact that cancer comes in many different forms and has a wide impact on people, from patients to families, friends and all those around them.
“My husband and I have both lost immediate family to cancer, and in recent years a number of close friends have been diagnosed with cancer; we wanted to create an event where we can have some fun celebrating our loved ones and at the same time raise funds to support the vital work of the Cancer Council SA.”
Cancer affects us all in one way or another, whether through our own health or that of our family or friends.
We continued the fight in 2017 with our 3rd Many Faces of Cancer charity Gala dinner in the magnificent Magarery Room at Adelaide Oval on Saturday October 14th 2017.
Our inspiration continues to be my amazing Auntie Maggie whom we continue to miss, but also the people we have lost since the commencement of our charity in 2012, in particularly a magnificent lady who taught my daughter in reception, the irreplaceable Diane Aston.
We also celebrated the life of my husbands good friend Mark who sadly left us in the July prior to the dinner, keeping him in our hearts.
2016 saw me stand beside my wonderful friend Tina during her journey, knowing her family carry the gene, and are being monitored by genetic testing. Having lost her Auntie 2 years ago and supporting her mother at this very time during her breast cancer treatment, knowing that this may also one day affect her own beautiful daughter.
This year, my husband and I have been able to share the load with a committee of volunteers that have helped significantly to ensure the Charity Dinner continues to be a reality.
Money raised from the Many Faces of Cancer charity auction dinner in 2017 will help the Cancer Council SA to ensure the guests of the Cancer Council lodges are able to attend their treatment. We will be supporting the Transport to Treatment Buses, because of their existence 13,241 guests to make it to their treatment centers & 162 guests were able to experience some well-deserved time out on recreational trips. We will also continue to support critical cancer research, invest in cancer prevention programs and provide support for people with cancer, their carers, families and friends.
Each year, around 9,700 South Australians are diagnosed with cancer – that’s nearly 26 people a day, with another 3,500 South Australians losing their battle with the disease.
Angie Nguyen and her aunty – Margaret Casagrande – who was her inspiration for creating the Many Faces of Cancer – tragically Margaret lost her battle with cancer a few weeks before Angie’s wedding day.
reproduced with permission from Justin Casagrande
One word, when heard, can drain all emotion, all your energy and leave the feeling of dark emptiness, you can’t help but think the worst. CANCER
I’m quiet, keep to myself, shy, don’t usually speak unless spoken to, prefer to sit back and watch chain of events unfold rather than being the centre of attention, one to bottle emotion and battle myself so not to show weakness. I’m like that perfect homemade loaf of bread, standing strong and confident, rock solid on the outside, but peel back the outer layers to expose a soft warm centre that melts butter – a quality that one inherits from none other than a gentle mother. Early 20’s with a life is easy no responsibility selfish attitude, to have explained to you that your Mum has CANCER. I was empty, didn’t know what to think, how to react or what it was I should be feeling.
When it does, realisation hits pretty hard. Looking back I now understand that everyone deals with situations differently. Mine, I regret….. wish I could have the time back and re-live. I put up this (what I thought) positive attitude, but more so a stubborn “nothing to worry about, Mum will get through this”. But deep down was that soft fluffy white bread, sensitive and fragile, tearing apart, a lost child. My way of dealing with this was ignoring the situation, didn’t want to know about it and distant myself. For an outsider it probably looked as if I blamed Mum for what was happening and didn’t care. I ask myself why I was like this – truth hurts, I couldn’t handle it and didn’t want to think of the possibilities, I really just wanted my Mum back. I isolated myself every night for hours in a gym, the only way where I could escape and clear my mind through gruelling punishment and fatigue. Amongst the sweat that would bead down my face, a camouflaged tear weighing more than the weights in front of me, held so much meaning.
How do you tell someone not to take others for granted, to appreciate and to cherish those close to you. It’s not truly understood until it’s been taken from you. What I would give to spend a moment, to boast my achievements to her, to show her the person I have become today, to watch the expression of pride escalate through her face, the feeling only a parent gives – to feel that warm unconditional love!
This one life experience changed me – surprisingly in a positive way. When I think back at the last moments I had with Mum, it amazes me and explains so much. She never complained, asked the question of ‘Why her’, or quivered for sympathy. I was so angry. You’re fighting to live and your only concern is for everyone else’s wellbeing, “What about you for a change!” I didn’t understand. I know now why she was this way. She was one of those rare creations, 1 in a million. Selfless, caring, put everyone before herself…right up to her last breath. These days those qualities are hard to come by, but I know from a few that are part of my life, they still exist.
Why the confession? Wanting to better yourself doesn’t always have to come with the expectancy of getting something in return for self-benefit. At some point in all our lives we’ll wear our hearts on our sleeves, even if it means opening yourself to vulnerability and showing your weaknesses. In some way I feel like I missed my most precious opportunity…… now that another has surfaced, I’m not letting it get away.
“My Mum is my strength, family and friends are all I need to feel alive.”
The passing of my Mum as a result of cancer was enough inspiration for my cousin (Angie Nguyen) in creating “The Many Faces of Cancer” – the mission to make a difference by enabling people to celebrate the lives of their loved ones and in the process raise funds in a fun and enjoyable manner for cancer research and the services that support people with cancer, their carers, families and friends.
I’m not one to ask of much, but on this rare occasion I ask one small favour from you. It won’t cost you a cent and won’t take up your time. A lot to ask? I may not even know you, we possibly live different lives 1000’s of km apart, but we do share one thing in common… whether you’re my neighbour or on the other side of the world – Cancer affects us all in one way or another, whether through our own health or that of our family or friends. “We all have a similar story”.
This cruel life changing disease does nothing but take – so its up to us to even the scores by giving back, to be infectious, a virus of our own that is so contagious we start winning for a change, and it comes about simply through the form of awareness. A simple word of mouth, a chain reaction that spreads so far around the globe – or maybe just by the click of a button. I’m asking you to ‘Like’ “The Many Faces of Cancer” FB page and maybe even ‘Share’ it amongst your family and friends.
The outcome – is you being part of HOPE, it only takes one small pebble to create the biggest ripple effect.