“Life’s Like That” is the title of a regular feature article from ‘The Dalesman’, a monthly publication about life in the Yorkshire Dales in England that my dad subscribed to years ago. The article would tell a story about people’s experiences with the stuff that life throws at you from time to time, and how there is always something unexpected and good that comes out of what initially appears to be a bad situation. For me, ‘life’s like that’ sums up how I feel about our story.
I’ve always loved the movie “Calendar Girls’ starring Helen Mirren; maybe it’s the Yorkshire Lass in me! When a friend was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, I was chatting to another friend about it at the 4WD Cub meeting; we wondered if we could do something amongst the girls in the club to boost morale and give support to our friend and maybe raise some funds too. I jokingly mentioned the movie, and it turned that my friend had actually done a “Calendar Girls” style calendar a few years earlier. This was mid October 2016.
Well, now its February 2017; I am still reeling and have not really quite digested the fact that “we did it” to quote an oft repeated phrase of “Miss March 2017”. We raised an amazing $10,843 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. A fantastic outcome and even better than that, our friend has finished almost a year of treatment, and the last scan was clear, which is the best news.
I don’t quite know ‘how’ we did it, really. In a matter of weeks we had sourced a photographer, a printer, sponsorship, a location for our shoot, and enough girls willing to ‘get their kit off’ and be photographed in the bush for a good cause! Our end product, a beautifully shot 4 Wheel Drive and camping themed black and white 15 month calendar was launched at our Club December meeting, and almost 50% of the stock was sold on the first night. That totally blew us away!
The entire experience was amazing, a lot of hard work, but also extremely rewarding. We have listened to so many people’s stories when selling our calendars at shopping centre and market stalls. We have raised an absolutely awesome amount of money, but best of all we have grown a little closer to people in our 4WD club that we didn’t necessarily know that well before. Here’s a tip: for a great bonding experience, get naked with a bunch of people that you don’t know that well, outdoors and in front of a total stranger! It also works wonders for your friendships, your confidence and self esteem. Here is a quote from one of the ladies, and I think this sums it up for most of us:
“For me, the most surprising thing that has come out of it was how many people congratulated me and told me what a brave thing I had done! It was never about me but trying to support our friend and all the other women going through the battle. However, it has given me a little more confidence in myself which I guess is a bonus.”