These pictures say a lot about Challenge and who we are as an organisation.
One of the things Challenge prides itself on is its sense of community and holistic focus. We are not just about a single child, we are about the whole family.
For Challenge, it is not just about the services and programs; as crucial as they are and important to making life that little bit easier for our families, our goal and mission runs significantly deeper than that. Challenge is a community and when we welcome a new family, our most vital task is to ensure these families feel welcome and comfortable in utilising all that we have to offer.
Through establishing friendships and support networks with other people facing similar struggles, the journey with cancer can become significantly easier and this is what we strive to do: build a close-knit community of families all battling their way through cancer.
In the 35 years Challenge has been operating, we have found that this sense of community and family that is established, is largely the reason why so many of our members – even post treatment and remission – stay involved. These photos tell an amazing story about tenacity, perseverance, heartache, loss and survival.
The first photo is the Viergever family who have been involved with Challenge since 2001 when their brother, Tim, was diagnosed with leukaemia. Sadly, Tim passed away in 2003 and the family have stayed very close to Challenge over the journey. Phil, their father, a beautiful man, was an integral part of the development of the Challenge DUC Club. Sadly, Phil was diagnosed with the exact same illness that Tim had and passed away in 2015. To see four of Tim’s siblings attend the recent Junior Camp, as Leaders giving back to children in need, was extremely overwhelming.
The second photo was more of a sporadic encounter but still shows the cycle of Challenge and the tendency of its community to give back. Pictured with our CEO, David Rogers, at the Malvern District Auskick Pie Night are five young people who have been a part of the Challenge family for more than two decades. From left to right, Helen Franzi, Suelyn Van Den Helm, David Rogers, Adrian Hulston, Taryn Noitz and Kate Gordon. Each one of these young people has travelled their own journey with Challenge and have decided to give back. Helen attended the Auskick event with her two young boys and is soon expecting her third child. Suelyn, Adrian, Taryn and Kate were all volunteering their time at the event to help Challenge. David thought it was a poignant moment to capture.
Community is an integral part of our organisation’s values and mission and it is so heart-warming for us to see these people giving back. Their compassion and support is extraordinary and for the team here at Challenge, it really validates the work we do and shows that we are helping to make a difference – so thank you!