On 27 October, thousands of brave, generous people from all across Victoria and beyond will descend on Melbourne as we stand united in the fight against cancer.
Each and every member of the Peter Mac family – clinicians, staff, researchers, patients, and supporters – represents a unique and inspirational story of strength, hope and resilience. At Unite to Fight Cancer, we will rally in support of every single member of the Peter Mac family, including folks like Richie.
Richie and his wife Sam were teenage sweethearts who met when they were just 19 and 17. They have two beautiful children, Jordan and Will. Sam told us that she and Richie have an incredibly strong bond – “we grew up together and became best friends”. Sam says that Richie’s diagnosis and battle with multiple myleoma has proven to be the darkest and most difficult period in their lives.
Richie was unable to walk for almost 12 months after his diagnosis and spent almost 2 months in a wheelchair, but Peter Mac provided a shelter in the storm for the family. Sam told us that within 24 hours of Richie being diagnosed, “the amazing staff at Peter Mac had a bed for him”.
The treatment and recovery process for Richie was marred by setbacks and false starts. Sam shared that, on one particular week, he experienced 5 days of temperatures in excess of 41 degrees, with a resting heart rate of 160 beats per minute (bpm).
These two teenage sweethearts had been planning a trip to the US in order to renew their wedding vows. However, given Richie’s condition, they opted to have the ceremony at their holiday home in Cape Paterson, where they redeclared their love for each other in front of everyone important in their lives. Their son, Will, walked Sam down the aisle, while Jordan stood at the altar with Richie.
Richie continues to face his road to recovery with an immovable optimism and Sam tells us that he has “never complained about the hand he’s been dealt”.
You have the power to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of people like Richie and his family. By joining our movement and uniting to fight cancer, you will be stepping out from the crowd and standing shoulder to shoulder with families all across Australia who face the prospect of losing a loved one to this insidious disease every single day.
There are far too many empty seats at dinner tables across the country, far too many parents, children and siblings taken from us by this indiscriminate and terrifying disease. Stand with Peter Mac and help us show those impacted by cancer that they are not alone. Together, we can make sure that Richie gets to walk his daughter down the aisle.