I am very fortunate to I live in the Perth suburb of Dalkeith, and we also have a farming property in Muchea, where I spend half my time. My partner and I are always busy with the family business and our farming properties.
I’m about to turn 60, which I am really looking forward to! As I am now semi-retired, I have started to play golf. I also enjoy pennant tennis all year round. Our whole family spends a lot of time outdoors whether for work or leisure.
My personal connection to cancer started when I was in my twenties. My Aunt was diagnosed with leukemia and passed away at the age of 50. Since that time, my father was also diagnosed with leukemia, however a different type to his sister and was lucky enough to live a much longer life to the age of 78. I have known many friends and associates who have had their own experiences with cancer, either breast, prostate, lung, and skin cancers.
One friend in particular has impacted me greatly, and that was a close girlfriend who lost her life to melanoma. We were very close, almost like sisters, raising our young families together and sharing some of life’s most precious experiences and moments. She never made it to her 50th birthday, never got to see her two young children finish school, go to university and grow into the adults they are today. With each milestone of my own children, I think of my friend and what she could be experiencing herself if it wasn’t for the cancer that took her life.
While she sometimes struggled to come to terms with her illness, she lived the last months of her life with enthusiasm and energy. The whole experience changed the way my family and I think about taking care of ourselves in the sun, as we are a very active outdoors family.
My involvement with Improve your long game came about because I joined a local rural golf club. Within a few weeks of joining and getting to know the members, I had already heard of one member’s sad story, losing her husband of many years to melanoma. We received an information pack through Cancer Council WA in relation to Improve your long game and so I thought it would be a good opportunity to try and implement it in the club. I have found a lot of members have a dismissive attitude towards sunscreen, especially in the cooler months. Having the sunscreen on the fairway in plain sight has heightened everyone’s attitude to application and I hope that this will continue to improve. We have a junior program at the club each school holidays and having the sunscreen available for them also promotes sun protection behaviour among our younger members.
I have seen the program in action at three or four other golf clubs. I’m always excited to witness members actively seeking out the sunscreen and wearing appropriate protective clothing. Regardless of whether you have a winter season only club or run all year round I think that the promotion of Improve your long game at any club would be highly beneficial.