A 20 cent donation for ovarian cancer research means so much more

A 20 cent donation for ovarian cancer research means so much more

A story from Jackie North, Mater Foundation Fundraising Manager

Twenty cents doesn’t sound like much, does it? But that little coin is so, so important.Jackie-Feel-Teal.jpg

This donation started the five year journey in 2013 towards our goal of $1 million of funding needed to progress ovarian cancer research at Mater.

Let me tell you how it all unfolded…

One evening in February 2013, my team and I were setting up for an Ovarian Cancer Symposium.

It was a big event as we were expecting around 130 people. Mater Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Nigel Harris was the MC, and our Business Development Manager Paul Reis, was the facilitator of a panel discussion that included Mater Gynaecological Oncologist Dr Lew Perrin, Mater Oncologist Dr Jim Coward, and the late Mary Lakey. 

Late in the afternoon before everyone was due to arrive at the event, my colleague Bill and I were putting brochures and gift bags on all the chairs when I spotted a 20 cent coin on the floor.

I asked Bill if it was his, to which he replied “no”. So I joked, “this must be an anonymous donation and the first contribution towards our new ovarian cancer research fundraising campaign (called ‘Feel Teal’)—and I’m not going to bank it until we raise one million dollars!”

All the while I’ve kept this coin in a little white pouch with a teal ribbon, and many years of incredible fundraising for ovarian cancer research followed.

The 20 cent coin sat pretty while events such as Katherine’s High Tea, Cocktails for a Cure and so many others were held.

One amazing lady I remember so fondly set up an Everyday Hero page to raise $20 000. Sadly, during this time she passed away, however her husband was determined to raise the remaining $3000 she still needed for her goal and raised this in her memory.

Another great memory of mine is of Mater nurse and long-time friend Mary Lakey.

Each year, Mary helped towards organising ovarian cancer fundraising events each day in February, and by the end of each month, she always asked me “when will we have enough so you could bank that coin?

Mary was a beautiful friend of the Mater family and a driving force behind raising many of the funds that have supported this incredible goal for ovarian cancer research after being diagnosed herself in 2007. Sadly, she passed away in 2013 but she will never be forgotten.

During these past five years I have watched an amazing and beautiful community of ovarian cancer fundraisers including patients, families, Mater staff and researchers grow and grow.

And the donations have grown too.

We were hoping that the $1 million goal would be reached within three years—but it’s taken  a little longer. But we’re almost there.

We’ve come so far over these past five years and I can’t wait to be able to bank this 20 cent coin when we hit this $1 million mark.

We’re so close to our goal and you can help us be that little bit closer by donating online here.

Photo caption: Jackie North (right)


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