May 17 - 23, 2015: Issue 214

  11th Biggest Morning Tea for Palm Beach Couple 

Max and Janet yesterday 

 11th Biggest Morning Tea for Palm Beach Couple

May 17, 2015

On Saturday May 23rd Janet and Max Petrie will host, for the 11th year in a row, a Biggest Morning Tea event and the 10th at their Pacific Road, Palm Beach home. 

This is a community event with their neighbours helping with the distribution of over 700 invitations by letterbox drop prior to and contributing cakes and finger food for the occasion as well as attending from 10 a.m..

Janet and Max’s home is kept open from 10am until it begins to get dark and all visitors are issued with two tickets, no matter how much they contribute, for the lucky Door Prizes. Many local businesses have contributed towards these prizes in the past including such great establishments as Barrenjoey House and Village Living (now at Furniture on Consignment - Avalon). Jonah’s is always generous with a voucher and The Boathouse always provide a voucher too. This year they have contributed vouchers again along with Tom Warren from Circuitry and Avalon Organics.

Janet explained on Saturday that when she attended one close by over a decade ago it seemed like something, with children at school then, that could be done by her. 

“Every family and person has been touched by this disease in one way or another, either directly through a family member or through a loved friend battling cancer. 

We feel the Biggest Morning Tea event is a good way to contribute to addressing this. The research transpires all levels of society and all countries as the advances made here in Australia filter through elsewhere.” Janet said.

The couple have hosted visitors, even through renovations, that apparently was a ‘dusty year’ and have had on occasion Speakers. Their visitors have included those in treatment for cancer as well. 

During one Biggest Morning Tea some of those undergoing treatment gathered in one room and could talk to each other about what they were battling through, little details those who have not had to battle this disease would not know of, such as the taste one gets in the mouth, or how one's pupils may go black during chemotherapy or many of the other side effects associated with treatment, and even, how much the ways the many types of cancer treatments have advanced.

That was a special Biggest Morning Tea that year, something good could be felt happening among what is, for those who have cancer, perhaps the most horrendous experience individuals and families go through. Janet said this may have been, in part, because they could speak to others going through a similar experience and compare notes.

Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is an opportunity for friends, family or workmates to come together, share a cuppa and some delicious food, and help those affected by cancer. While the official date for this year's Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea is Thursday 28th May 2015, you can hold your tea any time during May or June. Last year the Biggest Morning Tea for the Cancer Council raised over $11.9 million to help beat cancer. This year, they’re hoping to get more than 36,000 people involved to host a morning tea and are aiming to raise $13 million to fund research, prevention and support services to those affected by cancer. 

As Australia's peak national non-government cancer control organisation, Cancer Council Australia advises the Australian Government and other bodies on practices and policies to help prevent, detect and treat cancer. They also advocate for the rights of cancer patients for best treatment and supportive care.

From their website:

Our vision

Minimise the threat of cancer to Australians, through successful prevention, best treatment and support.

Our mission

Lead a cohesive approach to reduce the impact of cancer.

Cancer Council Australia works with its members the eight state and territory cancer organisations to:

• undertake and fund cancer research

• prevent and control cancer

• provide information and support for people affected by cancer.

Facts and figures - Cancer in Australia

• An estimated 128,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year, with that number set to rise to 150,000 by 2020.

• 1 in 2 Australian men and 1 in 3 Australian women will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85.

• Cancer is a leading cause of death in Australia – more than 43,000 people died from cancer in 2012. Cancer accounted for about 3 in 10 deaths in Australia.

• Around 19,000 more people die each year from cancer than 30 years ago, this is due mainly to population growth and aging.  However, the death rate (number of deaths per 100,000 people) has fallen by more than 16%.

• 66% of people diagnosed with cancer in Australia are still alive five years after diagnosis.

• The survival rate for many common cancers has increased by 30 per cent in the past two decades.

• The most common cancers in Australia (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) are prostate, colorectal (bowel), breast, melanoma and lung cancer. These five cancers account for over 60% of all cancers diagnosed in Australia

• In 2008, it was estimated that every year over 434,000 people are treated for one or more non-melanoma skin cancers. 521 people died of a non-melanoma skin cancer in 2011.

• Cancer costs more than $4.5 billion in direct health system costs (6.9%).

• $378 million was spent on cancer research in 2000-01, 22% of all health research expenditure in Australia.     

With a view over the whole of Palm Beach and towards Barrenjoey Lighthouse, some beautiful local birds who swoop down and stay on their front deck, and two wonderful hosts as well as a support team of their neighbours, this will be one of the more memorable Biggest Morning Teas this year and yet another reminder of what Pittwater and Australia is built on – individuals committed to caring for each other and doing their bit to advance, build up and maintain community.

 A crimson rosella (Platycercus elegans) visiting