“The doctors told me that I had no hope of being cured because my cancer was too advanced. Tumour. Incurable. I was devastated and hopeless. As I lay in my hospital bed questions of life beyond death weighed upon me. Was Jesus physically raised from the dead? How do we know? What if it’s all a big hoax? It‘s one thing living with a delusion but I don’t want to die putting all my hope in that delusion. It was scary to ask such brutally frank questions about my own death but my diagnosis left me no time for soft pedalling or procrastination. This was death and life stuff. There was no point pretending; I had to be sure.”
These words are from David McDonald, in his book ‘Hope beyond Cure’ and formed part of the reading that was shared at Minto Gardens’ Biggest Morning Tea for The Cancer Council which we held on Tuesday 17 May 2022. McDonald’s journey through cancer is not a unique one, but his approach was certainly not run-of-the-mill.
On this beautiful sunny morning, we hosted 87 guests (not counting staff) to a high tea style morning tea. The tables were draped in white linen, with roses twining through tiered plates of delectable treats, surrounded by women in floral attire or head bands and the men in their floral shirts. There was much talking and laughing as people from all walks of life connected through a shared experience.
Among the attendees were neighbours in the community, clergy and congregation members from Minto Anglican Church (Minto Garden’s partner parish) reserved residents as well as current Minto Gardens residents who brought along their friends, and residents from Porter Lodge (Residential Aged Care). We are especially grateful for Matilda and Patti-Ann from the Anglicare Campbelltown office who came to help out and tell residents about the other services on offer. It was a lovely picture of community pitching together, both internal and external.
The lovely craft paper flowers and paintings of flowers from Minto Garden’s residents served to decorate the Community Hub as well as The Cancer Council’s blue and yellow bunting and crepe paper. Women from Minto Anglican Church provided platters of treats and Minto Gardens residents volunteered their time to set up, serve and clean up as well as shopping and decorating the space. The staff stepped into do the myriad of tasks involved in running such an event like this from checking people in, ushering, pouring out the tea, and replenishing the treats.
Melissa from The Cancer Council spoke briefly but passionately about some of the families that had benefited from the work of the foundation the funds raised from events like these. The guests had a fun time of trying to answer the tea-trivia questions, with the winning answers getting another ticket into the lucky door prizes
(a hamper of goodies from CanaFarm, and two mugs from The Cancer Council)
We raised $1007 from this event- thanks to the generosity of those attending and the ones who gave online! The laughter and fun of the morning was tinged with sadness as so many who were present indicated that they had lost a loved one to cancer or been affected by it themselves. It was a cause close to our hearts. We are so glad to have had an incredible morning connecting with each other, and more importantly being able to give back to help others who are facing this dreaded diagnosis.