Dorothy Rauscher would do anything to raise money for cancer research – including, she says, shaving her hair and standing on her head.
Thankfully, it hasn’t come to that. Instead, the Wollongong local is gearing up for her 23rd year of volunteering for our Daffodil Day Appeal. As our most iconic fundraising campaign, the Daffodil Day Appeal is an important opportunity to support lifesaving cancer research.
Dorothy said it’s also a whole lot of fun.
“We have fun as well as raising money. Sometimes people just want to talk, so you talk to them, and if you can make them laugh it’s a bonus,” she said.
Laughter has certainly helped Dorothy herself through some very tough times – many people in her family and inner circle have received a cancer diagnosis.
“We have a lot of cancer in our family, so I would do anything I could to raise money for cancer research and find a cure,” Dorothy said.
Her husband Bill was diagnosed with lung cancer in May 2003, following a long period of having shortness of breath misdiagnosed as arthritis. By the time the cancer was discovered it was so advanced that, despite starting treatment, he died six weeks later.
In addition, five of her sisters were diagnosed with forms of breast cancer, three within days of each other. Dorothy’s twin sister died after being diagnosed with melanoma and two of her other sisters were diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent double mastectomies.
Her brother was diagnosed with bladder cancer and died from related complications. Her son was twice diagnosed with kidney cancer and is now in remission. Her daughter’s sister-in-law was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, and she also has a friend who is undergoing treatment for liver cancer.
However, instead of focusing on the difficult times, Dorothy said she chooses to act against cancer. Whether it’s the Daffodil Day Appeal or Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, you can guarantee that Dorothy will be there, accepting everyone and anyone’s money to fund our vital work.
“I emphasise the fact that whatever I’m doing for Cancer Council, it’s to raise money,” she said.
“My slogan is whenever you come to my house you have to bring your money with you. I had one lady who didn’t turn up because she didn’t like that, but too bad! That’s what I do it for – to get the money to fund cancer research.
“I like volunteering because I like people and if I can get money for the Daffodil Day Appeal and Cancer Council, of course – if they said shave all your hair off and stand on your head I probably would too!”
Fellow Wollongong resident Helen Davis volunteers in our Information Service at Wollongong Hospital, and has been volunteering for Daffodil Day for 10 years. She says they always have an absolute ball at the stand they set up at the hospital.
“They call us the crazies, because we spray our hair different colours and we just have fun. When you see the people that we work with every day, if I can make one person laugh, I’ve done my job,” she said.
A former nurse, Helen retired to look after her husband Colin when he was diagnosed with liver and bowel cancer a decade ago.
“They found the liver cancer first, then it took them three months to find the bowel cancer because it was hidden behind the appendix – they had to operate to find it,” she said.
“They gave him three months and that was 10 years ago. He’s still going! Then, I decided to do some volunteer work with Cancer Council.”
Last year, Helen received her own bowel cancer diagnosis after completing a free bowel cancer screening test. She’s now in remission following treatment and is looking forward to another successful Daffodil Day Appeal – and she’s urging other people to also volunteer their time.
“It’s great, we have so much fun meeting all the different people coming in. We also make cakes to sell, we just have a great time,” Helen said.
“Come along, try it out, we only ask that you can spare one hour to help us.”
We need you for the 2019 Daffodil Day Appeal
There are several volunteer roles needed to make the Daffodil Day Appeal a success on Friday, 23 August, 2019. We need people to fundraise, deliver daffodils, coordinate volunteers across sites and more.
Whether you can volunteer for three hours or all day, there’s a shift to suit you. With hundreds of sites across the country, there’s sure to be one near you.
Will you join Dorothy and Helen and become a Daffodil Day Appeal volunteer? Register here.