ONE woman’s cancer diagnosis led to one rugby league club swallowing its pride, dressing in pink and raising $10,500 for the McGrath Foundation.
CYMS Rugby League Club treasurer Fleur Vardanega was diagnosed with breast cancer last year.
Her beautiful nature inspired the club to band together to raise the money by auctioning off pink jerseys, worn for one game during the year, and collecting donations.
The club donated more than 10 per cent of the funds they need every year to keep afloat.
The money will be used by the foundation to fund breast care nurses in rural areas.
There was no breast cancer nurse in Orange when Mrs Vardanega was diagnosed.
“When the diagnosis happens there’s so much confusion,” she said.
“There’s so many people you have to go and see who do so many different things, it’s a bit overwhelming.
“When you hear that ‘C’ word your head just spins.”
Orange’s McGrath Foundation Breast Care nurse Sue Kuter said the money would benefit breast cancer patients across Australia.
“My wage is funded by charity donations,” she said.
“The more money that is raised the more breast cancer nurses can be put on.”
Mrs Vardanega said she was in remission, but still needed to call Mrs Kuter for advice.
“For me Sue’s position is vital,” she said.
Mrs Vardanega was humbled by the club’s effort to support her through her cancer battle.
Committee member Matt King said the club would have been lucky to raise that amount in one year, as little as five years ago.
“It’s a really big achievement for our club, no other club this size in Orange has done it,” he said.
Mr King was overwhelmed by the response from club members and the community. He said the club would look at doing something similar next year for a different charity.