THE Wangi Wangi community has rallied to support local Liz Wright who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer.
That support will culminate tonight (Friday, July 14) in the staging of a fund-raiser at Wangi RSL Club, for Ovarian Cancer Australia.
Ms Wright’s close friend, Cherrie Wittman, who has helped to organise tonight’s function, said Ms Wright was about to begin chemotherapy treatment, and was told she would lose her hair.
“Well, Liz just told them that she’d rather lose her hair on her terms, so she’s going to have her hair shaved at the club tonight,” Ms Wittman said.
Her plan was to seek some cash donations from patrons at the club to raise a few dollars for research and treatment into ovarian cancer.
But the Wangi Wangi community has taken it a step further.
“There’s now about four or five others who are going to shave their heads, too,” Ms Wittman said.
“When we started to organise this all very quickly, we set out to raise $1000 on the night. We’ve already exceeded that.”
And there’s more to come.
Businesses in Wangi Wangi have donated a stack of items to be raffled tonight.
“Liz has been going around to the shops handing out posters for the night, and she’s just been so overwhelmed by the support,” Ms Wittman said.
Ms Wittman said she had known Ms Wright for just 18 months, but in that time the pair had become very good friends.
“We sail together. We met and became friends instantly. I just love her,” she said.
“We go to Wangi RSL Club and have a dance. Liz and her husband Jeff are just the most beautiful couple.”
On her website, Ms Wright said she was initially diagnosed with lung cancer in 2015.
“Fast forward two years and in February 2017 the space around my right lung filled with two and half litres of fluid, called a pleural effusion,” she said.
“I walked around for five months thinking I had lung cancer.”
Her oncologist subsequently discovered Ms Wright had stage 4 ovarian cancer.
Ms Wright will tell her story at the club tonight. Her sole mission is to provide women with the information they need to boost their chances of early detection of ovarian cancer, and to avoid the trauma that Ms Wright has endured.
“I would like to try and bring more awareness to this insidious disease,” she said.
“At this point in time there is no real noted screening for ovarian cancer but after talking to doctors there is a couple of things we could do that just might save our lives.
“First, a simple blood test [CA125 ] once a year, and every two years a transvaginal ultrasound which, although not a 100 per cent guarantee, is the only early marker available. An elevated blood test would have your doctor look further.”
Symptoms for ovarian cancer can be vague, or there can be none at all.
Some patients experienced symptoms such as back pain, bloating, feeling over-full after eating, and urination urgency, which some women tended to explain away.
Ms Wittman said Ovarian Cancer Australia had supplied brochures for the night.
“We’re going to talk a little bit about that tonight, and to make sure that women absolutely know about these tests,” she said.
Locals are invited to call in at the club tonight from 5pm.
Cash donations will be welcomed, and donations of items to be raffled are still being accepted by the club management this afternoon.
- Phone the club on 4975 1433.