We drew the Holiday raffle last week, congratulations to winners Mary, Libby, Colleen, Heather, Pam and the Kates, who are now enjoying their prizes!
We’re very happy to share that the Holiday raffle raised $352, in addition to our other fundraising this year: $700 from other raffles and $500 from the movie night. We’re grateful to the Elizabeth’s Fund volunteer team (at the National Library) for their energy and enthusiasm in selling tickets in addition to their own fundraising events.
Thank you to everyone involved, not just the volunteers but everyone buying tickets, sharing information about the raffles, and to our generous sponsors. You helped make Elizabeth’s Iceland bucket list a reality, and assisted with ongoing medical expenses and living costs. Stay tuned for next year’s fundraising initiatives, but in the meantime, please consider supporting the businesses who kindly donated raffle prizes:
Madman Entertainment, National Library of Australia, Lake Burley Griffin Cruises, Lindsay & Edmunds, Canberra Classic Corn, Impact Comics, Conservation Council (ACT Region), Anna Comerford, Moosie Soy Candles, Real Chai, Sweet Bones Organic Bakery and Cafe, Jigsaw Body Mechanics, local musicians and bands (Space Party, Dead DJ Joke, Cracked Actor, Reuben Ingall, The Magic Rob Universe, Subsequence Radio, Inflatable Ingrid and Tundrel), and our GLAMR gourmet cake-bakers!
And some beautiful words from Elizabeth:
I’d like to thank all of Canberra Library Tribe – and the library community at large – particularly the amazing Sonja and Beth who have worked so hard to help me out. I really don’t know what i did to deserve such kindness and generosity, and it has made this very difficult year and a half so much more pleasant.
for a more general update: I’m now at a year and a half post diagnosis. This year alone, i’ve had 28 rounds of pelvic radiation, 10 or so rounds of chemotherapy, major surgery, two angiograms, and radiation inserted directly into my liver. I got a blood clot mid-year, and have been on blood thinning injections daily ever since, and have had countless scans, local and interstate trips to doctors, and more ER trips than i care to recall.
i’ve also had some tremendous times – i travelled to the UK, Iceland, and Finland – i saw Lord Byron’s castle and Phillip Larkin’s grave, and the Morrissey shrine in Manchester. i went ice caving in Iceland and stayed in a tiny seaside town called Vik with a black sandy beach. I’ve spent time with loved ones, overseas and in Australia, been lucky enough to have had the health to be able to go interstate from time to time between treatment. i saw Morrissey twice in one week, and Sufjan Stevens a few nights before, and I’m planning small trips for early next year. I’ve had the chance to build stronger friendships, to repair old ones, and to feel as though i appreciate being alive – still – in a way i never have before. I’ve been published in almost all of my favourite Australian literary journals – my name in the same journal that published Patrick White – something i could have never imagined would happen to me.
it is hard to think of myself as lucky in this context – as it stands, my prognosis is still very poor – meaning it is very unlikely that i will be alive in three and a half years – but for now, my health is surprisingly robust, despite my current exhaustion from the radiation being inserted into my liver. my doctors are still encouraging me to live my life as much as i possibly can while my pain and nausea is manageable, and i still remain hopeful for new treatment that might be able to keep me going, and to manage the cancer as a chronic illness. The facts remain the same – it cannot be cured, and there’s only a limited number of treatments left if the current ones i am on start to fail.
Having the support of so many people has made my life so much easier. it has made the times where it doesn’t seem worth it – where the pain and discomfort and the fear become too much – i remember how much people care, how much everyone has helped me, and i don’t even know how i can start to thank you.