A scattering of puffy fairy floss dotted an effortlessly blue sky while a cool Queensland bay breeze teased us with its cool touch on what was a very hot morning at the Wynnum Bandstand Park in Manly.
Together The Naked Gardiners’ gathered as a strong supportive team of loved ones, furry companions and new friends that travelled from far and wide to support each other on this day (23 March 2014). We were not alone, there were many others not just here in Manly but all across Australia where many communities came together to march for something very close to all our hearts! A MARCH FOR A CURE, and that cure being Melanoma!
The 4 km walk was an opportunity to unite against Melanoma, to remember loved ones lost and to raise awareness of Australia’s national cancer, while supporting our researchers to find a cure. Funds raised from the march will support research at Melanoma Institute Australia, the world’s largest melanoma research and treatment centre. The beautiful Nicole Gillespie was a guest speaker for the morning, retelling her story, a story all too similar to mine. She is awe-inspiring, strong and determined. I love her outlook and her joy for life, loving every single minute of it and in doing so ticking off her very adventurous Bucket List! You go you little rock star!
Our motto for the day: Remember. Support. Inspire!
This was an emotional day for me. I was frazzled before I arrived, an accumulation of nerves and the purpose of the march. I was hoping that I would hold it together, and I am so proud that I did. Not only did I hold it together, I was overjoyed with love and support that I had received yesterday and every day of this journey thus far! It was a day of laughter, love and togetherness and I loved every minute of it! As a team, The Naked Gardiners’ raised $5,955 a massive feat from our original target of $1,000 and the highest amount for a team in Queensland (to date). Well done to everyone!
The online support of donations and messages received has been so overwhelming, it is incredible and I am still blown away by the support. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart! We did well as a team, Nakeds’! And I couldn’t have got through the day without you – thank you for rising early on a Sunday (I know how hard that is!) and making the trip down to Manly!
Our fur baby Winston, stole the show with his hilarious stamina or lack there of (sook), his need to toilet at the start and finish of the march (disgraceful!) and stealing the hearts of all those that met him (heart-breaker)! He even made a great friend in David Bowie, the Golden Retriever! Thank you to Laura, Esther, Scott and Penny taking turns in looking after our fur baby! Puppy sitting duties are coming your way! haha!
Thank you to my love, Ant for holding my hand on the day – you are pretty good at this now! I love you!
And to my family, immediate and extended for being the amazing support that you are, I am blessed! My friends – I love you more than words can express! I am so proud of our accomplishment and being able to do our personal bit to support Melanoma Institute Australia.
Please enjoy the photos from the day courtesy of Ant, Laura, Penny, Renee, Katie, mama Kate and myself!