Coast helps raise $11K for cancer

HERVEY Bay’s Richard Butler lost his partner, Simone McKeand, to ovarian cancer in October last year – and on Sunday he helped to ensure that, in the future, many more will survive the deadly disease.

Mr Butler held a fundraiser on Sunday at the Fiddler to help raise money to find a cure for ovarian cancer.

Seven bands, including Mr Butler’s band, Uncle Arthur, performed free and more than 300 people attended.

Thanks to the generosity of people and businesses throughout the Fraser Coast, he was able to raise $11,000 for the cause.

He says he really was not expecting to raise that much – he was hoping to raise about $3000 or $4000.

“The businesses of Hervey Bay have just been so generous,” he said.

Mr Butler’s friends and Simone’s family also gave generously of their time, helping to raise the mammoth total.

“Without them I couldn’t have done it.”

Mr Butler also held auctions and raffles with prizes donated by local businesses.

Touchingly, many of those who came approached Mr Butler and shared their stories of Simone – and even more came along because ovarian cancer had touched their own lives. Mr Butler said that while a cure was the ultimate aim, raising the profile of the illness was also important.

He said early detection was also important when fighting the illness and raising money could help with creating tests that would allow more women to be checked out earlier.

“By the time it’s found often it is too advanced to beat,” he said.

Before she died, Mr Butler had held several fundraisers with the help of Uncle Arthur to help fund Simone’s treatment, which was very expensive.

Donations to ovarian cancer research can still be made through the National Australia Bank or to Mr Butler at Ultra Music in Hervey Bay.

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