So, what’s The Aftershock?
Think of cancer and the usual suspects spring to mind.
Breast. Prostate. Lung. Melanoma. Bowel. There they stand – chests out – in all their hideous glory, like guilty suspects at a police lineup.
Then there are those cancers that prowl in the shadows.
They wait patiently. Silently. They don’t strike as often, but when they do, they destroy everything in their path.
At The Aftershock our purpose is to lure these cancers out of the darkness and into the hot, burning glow of the spotlight.
What are these cancers?
We’re talking the likes of mesothelioma, oesophageal and medullary cancer of the thyroid. Haven’t heard of them? You’re not alone.
These are high mortality rate cancers i.e. they kill quicker than others.
Why? Because they aren’t as common. And because they aren’t as common, they don’t get as much research or funding.
50,000 Aussies a year will be diagnosed with these types of cancers. Of that 50,000, half won’t make it home from their hospital bed.
There is a proven correlation between cancer funding and survival rate. They go together gloriously. Seamlessly. Like dumplings and chili oil.
And that’s where we go to work.
We want these cancers defeated. Vanquished. If awareness is our leading punch, funding is the following uppercut.
Sounds terrific – how do you go about doing that?
The Aftershock launched in the Spring of 2017.
On Sunday February 18 2018 we held our inaugural ‘Teresa’s Trotters’ – a 6km walk around The Tan in Melbourne which saw more than 200 walkers help raise $15,400.
The purpose of the event was two-fold; a) to raise heaps of $$$; b) to show how lucky we are to be able to walk that distance.
It’s easy to forget many thousands of people in their hospital beds would love to do the same.
The next event was ‘Tidy’s Tour’. Our resident peddler Chris set out to ride from Perth to Melbourne in three weeks. That’s only 21 days. I’ve put off uni assignments for longer than that.
And he did it. Amazingly. And with ice packs on his thighs and Epsom salt at his feet, he raised $40,000.
What’s the deal with the funding?
Oh, good question (thanks for asking).
We want to make a dent instead of a scratch. Instead of sprinkling the funds over multiple cancers, we want to hit them where they hurt – one by one.
First up; thyroid.
In 2017 we teamed up with James – aka thyroid cancer assassin – and invested $100,000 into a specialised research project.
Our $100,000 was matched by various medical bodies, almost tripling the investment.
Truth be told we were pretty chuffed. But we ain’t stopping there.
So, what’s the plan from here?
We’re launching an exhibition – and a short film – that documents the lives of cancer patients and their families. We know it’s all well and good talking about these things. But seeing it on film has a far greater impact.
We’ll also be staging our next edition of ‘Teresa’s Trotters’, which takes place next year on February 17.
We know there’s a lot to do. But we know we’ll never stop.
Those cancers lurking in the shadows are still poised to strike.
We want to make sure they never get their chance.
How did The Aftershock come to be?
The Aftershock is inspired by my beautiful mum Teresa Neate who was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer in December 2014 which spread to her spine, resulting in paralysis.
Through an extensive rehab program Teresa defied the odds and learnt to walk again, only to have the cancer return on her spine placing her back in hospital.
Devastatingly, Teresa did not come home from hospital and passed away in September 2016.
She’s the heart of The Aftershock. Everything we do – every dollar we raise, every event we plan – is done so with her in mind.
Suz – Founder & CEO