Sold out fundraiser helps Madora Bay woman with cancer

Maureen Payne, Toni Johnson and Leanne Ridgwell with artwork donated by Ms Johnson.
Maureen Payne, Toni Johnson and Leanne Ridgwell with artwork donated by Ms Johnson.

A SOLD out Christmas in July event at The Cut Golf Club has helped a Madora Bay family raise more than $6000 for their daughter battling cancer.

Last November Leanne Ridgwell was told she had Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that typically causes tumours to grow on the soft tissue around bones.

Her mother Susan Ridgwell said the diagnosis had rocked them.

“It was a huge shock to all the family and her friends because she is only 22-years-old and was fit and healthy,” she said.

“She was just approaching the end of her second year of nursing studies and was looking forward to going ahead for her third year with her friends, instead she was referred to Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital to begin her chemo as soon as possible.

“Obviously it was a very daunting prospect for her but she coped with it better than her dad and I.”

Mrs Ridgwell said the family was grateful to the women at The Cut who had decided to turn their Christmas in July event into a fundraiser for Leanne.

“The people at the club have been amazing and supportive since they heard about Leanne, they really embody what it is to be a club and have always supported fundraisers with great enthusiasm,” she said.

“The event snowballed, the ladies dressed up in Christmas theme for nine holes of golf, there were businesses with market stalls, a fashion show, a lovely group called The Gidgets sang songs and there were raffles, a prize wheel and door prizes.

The fundraiser’s fashion show was a big hit.

“It has been fantastic to see the response from so many kind people, too many to mention, and it has given Leanne a much needed boost because she is just past halfway in a very long journey.”

Mrs Ridgwell said Leanne had lost the strength in her left arm when the cancer was removed, taking some of the muscle with it, and that some of the money raised would help her daughter swap her manual car for an automatic one that would be easier to drive with her weakened arm.

She said the rest would be donated to Sock it to Sarcoma.