KURA Van Daemen and Daphne Brooks were just two of a room full of women touched by cancer as Tannum Sands hosted its very first Pink Ribbon Breakfast yesterday.

The ocean was glistening at Tannum Sands Surf Life Saving Club as 55 people gathered together to fundraise for Cancer Council research and have a lot of fun along the way.

Ms Van Daemen and the rest of her table donned a red fascinator or hat. They are from the Red Hat Tropicana group in Gladstone; 25 friends who support local events.

They've all experienced a loss with cancer, especially breast cancer. Ms Van Daemen was the most recent cancer patient in the room.

"I've lost two husbands and one boob," she said.

"One of my husbands was 62 and the other one was 72 when they died."

Asked how the ordeal had affected her, Ms Van Daemen said she had a good attitude about it.

"I just want to get on with life. We don't think about it," she said.

"I am very active."

Pink Ribbon Breakfast at the Tannum Surf Lifesaving Club October 17, 2014. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer
Pink Ribbon Breakfast at the Tannum Surf Lifesaving Club October 17, 2014. Photo Mike Richards / The Observer Mike Richards

Breast cancer victim Pam Johansson agreed.

"We get up every morning, put our boobs in and off we go," she laughed.

Fellow Red Hat member Daphne Brooks hadn't been diagnosed herself, but has lost her two best friends, husband and sister.

"I get checked every two years. I thought the breakfast was lovely,'' she said.

"I hadn't been inside the surf club before."

There was laughter around the pinked-up room as guest speakers Liz Cunningham and Mayor Gail Sellers shared stories and humorous quizzes, while popular poet Margy McArdle had women in stitches with her two poems Ode to a Mammogram and Jelly Melons.

"I practised for two or three hours last night. It takes me a long time to learn a poem. I just enjoy it," she said

"I've been doing poetry publicly since 1995."

Cancer Council Queensland head of business development and partnerships Natalie Wust came from Brisbane to participate.

"It's been an amazing morning with the spirit of women in the room,'' she said.

"They are courageous survivors.

"Around 180 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in central Queensland.

"It's important people buy a pink ribbon to show we are fighting for them."

This year Cancer Council Queensland aims to raise $2.35 million through Pink Ribbon Day and fundraising events.

Pink Ribbon Day is on Monday, October 27.

laura.mckee@

gladstoneobserver.com.au



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