Alison’s chance encounter with Cancer Council changed her life
By Cancer Council NSW
In 1990, a chance encounter with Cancer Council marked the beginning of a remarkable journey for Alison Todd.
After the death of her husband to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Alison stumbled upon Cancer Council one rainy day when she was walking past the Cancer Council office and noticed a Daffodil symbol.
Drawn to the daffodil, she walked through the door, unknowingly embarking on a journey to help people affected by cancer. As she recalls, “Out of curiosity, I opened the door on what has become a long and winding road!”
Finding hope through volunteering
By signing up to volunteer for Daffodil Day, Alison took the first of many steps towards her commitment to Cancer Council.
Reflecting on her journey, Alison says, “I’ve been involved with Daffodil Day every year since 1990. 2015 marked 25 years of selling daffodils.”
At the Cronulla site during Daffodil Day, Alison strives for an atmosphere of hope among her fellow volunteers, inspiring them to embrace the spirit of the Daffodil – the international symbol of hope for everyone impacted by cancer.
“Whether it was my first day, selling daffodils for a gold coin donation, Daffodil Day always looks like a day of hope”, Alison says.
Alison’s volunteering soon evolved into a multi-faceted dedication to moving towards a cancer-free future, immersing herself in various initiatives, becoming an advocate for cancer prevention, detection, and support.
Making an impact over the years
Over the years, Alison’s impact has consisted of participating in community speaking events, raising awareness about cancer prevention and early detection, to empower people to take charge of their health.
“In 2005 I became a Community Speaker and have since given over 100 presentations to corporate, community and charity groups”, says Alison.
Through her advocacy efforts, Alison has facilitated positive change in cancer policies and support systems, ensuring that people affected by cancer receive the care they need.
Thanks to her fundraising and advocacy work, Alison’s impact has grown even further, through the personal connections she has gained over the years.
Each year, she’s able to meet people who generously share their stories, creating a network of compassion that has helped many people.
Reflecting on her first Daffodil Day, Alison humbly shares, “I sold about 200 daffodils that day, which seemed amazing back then. Even more amazing were the people who kindly donated. Most had a story to tell, they touched my heart and made me realise I was not alone and there was much work to be done to overcome this disease.”
Alison’s 33 years of impact
We’re so thankful for the legacy of Alison’s 33 years with Cancer Council NSW that stands as a testament to the transformative power of compassion and volunteerism.
Through her dedication to a cancer-free future, she has touched the lives of countless individuals and families affected by cancer.
As she reflects on her journey, Alison says, “It would be easy not to do volunteer work, but I would not be complete without it. Volunteering is part of my journey, part of who I am, volunteering gives me hope for future generations.”
Daffodil Day remains at the heart of Alison’s volunteerism, symbolising the hope and resilience that fuels her passion.
As she continues to make an impact, her story inspires new generations of volunteers to carry on the spirit of Daffodil Day and work towards a cancer-free future.
For all that cancer takes – mums, uncles, friends, workmates, moments we won’t get back – Daffodil Day is our opportunity to give.