Gunnedah goes pink for breast cancer

THINK PINK: Gunnedah Grow and Mow team Darrin Cameron, David Murray and Michael Cooke are standouts in their pink hi-vis shirts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
THINK PINK: Gunnedah Grow and Mow team Darrin Cameron, David Murray and Michael Cooke are standouts in their pink hi-vis shirts for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Michael Cooke, David Murray and Darrin Cameron have swapped their usual work shirts for hot pink hi-vis this month in a bid to remind the Gunnedah community of the very real danger of breast cancer.

The Gunnedah Grow and Mow team is doing their bit to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

All three men have been impacted by cancer in some way, particularly Mr Cooke and Mr Cameron.

“Men are affected as well,” Mr Cooke said.

“[I’m] looking to raise awareness of cancer that affected my grandmother and Jo Menken.”

PINK HOPE: Former Gunnedah woman Jo Menken (left) has raised funds for breast cancer research in an effort to safeguard the future of her daughter Cameron.

PINK HOPE: Former Gunnedah woman Jo Menken (left) has raised funds for breast cancer research in an effort to safeguard the future of her daughter Cameron.

Mr Cooke said his wife, Stacey (nee Thibault) was friends with former Gunnedah woman Jo Menken who has a defective BRCA2 gene and underwent a double mastectomy to reduce her risk of developing breast cancer.

On Saturday, Mrs Cooke attended the Breast Wishes Ball hosted by Ms Menken to raise funds for preventative health organisation Pink Hope.

“Everybody’s been slightly touched by [cancer],” Mr Cooke said.

Mr Cameron said he was wearing pink for his mother, Elva, who is currently battling with breast cancer.

“She’s not giving up,” he said.

“She’s gonna fight it for as long as she has to and can.

“She has the support around her.”

Mr Cameron said he hoped that their shirts would serve as an important reminder to women to self-check.

“You [women] have got to take care of yourselves,” he said.

Mr Cooke said it would be encouraging if community members beeped their car horns when they saw the men in pink.

“I think it's a novel thing for tradies in regional Australia to do,” he said.

“It would be good to spearhead a regional tradie revolution for Australia.”

The Grow and Mow owner said part of purchase price of their pink Bisley shirts went to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), and he would also make a personal donation.

“[Breast Cancer Awareness Month] will be something that’ll be in the Grow and Mow Calendar every year,” Mr Cooke said.

The awareness campaign is an annual event held in October, with the aim of shining a spotlight on breast cancer.

NBCF is focused on assisting women by providing help and hope to those affected by breast cancer through early detection, education and support services.

Another Gunnedah resident highlighting breast cancer awareness this month is survivor Michelle King who is hosting A Night Against Breast Cancer on Saturday.

Cancer survivor Michelle King with her Jack Russell, Daisy. Michelle is hosting A Night Against Breast Cancer on Saturday to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Institute of Australia.

Cancer survivor Michelle King with her Jack Russell, Daisy. Michelle is hosting A Night Against Breast Cancer on Saturday to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Institute of Australia.

Mrs King is celebrating 10 years free of breast cancer at the event which will raise funds for the Breast Cancer Institute of Australia.

The cancer survivor has been hosting fundraising events for six years, and said the upcoming event would be her last hooray.

To find out how to get involved in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, visit www.nationalbreastcancer.org/breast-cancer-awareness-month