For many women, winning a sparkling diamond ring would be a dream come true – but for Challenge mother, Marie Metherell, it is much more than that.
Marie’s daughter, Zoe, was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma when she 10 months old. Filled with fear and uncertainty for six weeks, Zoe then endured nine months of intensive chemotherapy. Unfortunately, 13 months later, just shy of celebrating her third birthday, Zoe relapsed. She then underwent 11 months of chemotherapy and 30 rounds of radiation, with many obstacles in between.
During the difficult periods of treatment, Marie said that Challenge gave her entire family moments of happiness. These included attending a Mother’s Retreat and experiencing the importance of spending time with those sharing a similar journey to her own, and her daughters being able to enjoy adventurous activity days and Challenge camps.
Our annual Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend Gala Dinner provides over 1,500 women with an opportunity to share their experiences, celebrate life, and enjoy an evening of fun and entertainment, while helping raise funds that go directly towards programs that support Challenge mothers. For Marie, not only did this event provide an opportunity for her to enjoy a night out with friends who have always been there to support her throughout the various stages of Zoe’s treatment and beyond, but it also had her leaving the Crown Palladium with a heavier hand and a brighter smile! Marie won the iconic Diamond Raffle Prize – a 18ct white gold diamond ring from Sol’s Diamonds valued at $10,000.
With the shock and excitement clearly written on her face, Marie made her way up to the stage to accept her prize. Marie has been overwhelmed by the well-wishes and support she has received post event.
“Being told you deserve the ring is somewhat strange. The ring means more to me than a raffle prize - one day I will be able to pass this onto Zoe as a memory of happy times, with a story behind it as to where it came from. We will continue to be a part of Challenge and be forever grateful for the support they have given to our entire family”.