Dianne and Edward Hasselbach with a photo of their niece Ashleigh Collins who has cancer.
Dianne and Edward Hasselbach with a photo of their niece Ashleigh Collins who has cancer. Hayden Johnson

Tinana fundraiser in honour of teen battling rare cancer

ON THE two-year anniversary of her niece's first round of chemotherapy, Dianne Hasselbach held a special high tea fundraiser in Tinana.

More than 50 people gathered on her veranda on Saturday for an afternoon of tea, raffles and lucky spots.

Mrs Hasselbach said she decided a high tea would be a more suitable Relay for Life fundraiser for supporters "instead of having running or walking".

She said she and husband Edward had already donated money to the cause but because their niece, Ashleigh Collins, wanted to give back to people who had helped her, they decided to host a fundraiser.

Mrs Hasselbach said thanks to the generosity of the people who attended, $1060.50 was raised which made Ashleigh really happy.

She said the 19 year old was given only three months to live when first diagnosed with the rare Ewing's sarcoma but had endured 10 rounds of chemotherapy, 55 doses of radiotherapy, a hemipelvectomy operation to remove the pelvis to radiate it and a stem cell transplant, to enjoy almost six months free of cancer.

But the cancer has returned and Ashleigh is taking a trial drug.

Ashleigh said the cancer didn't seem to be giving up "but neither am I, so bring it on".

Mrs Hasselbach said her sister told her that never once had Ashleigh asked: why me?

"She's just amazing," she said.

"It's a real inspiration."

Mrs Hasselbach said Ashleigh planned to participate in the Relay for Life in her hometown of Kiama, south of Sydney.



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