Hopeful cure for all!

By Laura Anderson Join Me

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Together our flower power is creating a cancer free future

I’m showing my Flower Power by fundraising for The Daffodil Day Appeal, to support advancements in life-saving cancer research.  

So, it is asking me to explain a little of why I am fundraising this year for Daffodil Day. I don't mind, just as long as you are already for an essay rather than a little info. 

I am fundraising this year, Like I try to every year (thanks COVID-19) for an amazing person that meant so much to me. My Grandma, Laura Ann Ockenden. Known to everyone as Ann. Some things about grandma. She was a crafty woman, She would knit, sew, she’d try her hand at everything crafty. Never could she crochet haha. Grandma was a part of the local craft group, things she made would go into the craft shop to sell. Grandma and Grandpa travelled a lot. She would make sure you were fed if you turned up at their home, the children with chips, chocolates and lollies. She made you laugh so much. Like one Christmas when all her grandchildren were all together, Grandma wanted me to play my clarinet for everyone. So, I did. Then Grandma being her silly self, took my clarinet and started “playing” it. So hard she broke my reed, my mum had to go home and get another packet of reeds as I only had that one. Another time, she let my cousin Megan and I paint her face with make-up. She loved it. And wore it for most of the day. I have so many memories of Grandma, but I do have a favourite. 3rd September 2009, I had just come home from my antenatal appointment. Stopped in for a cuppa and told my grandma and grandpa the news. I had to go home pack my hospital bag (we had just moved the day before) and head back to the hospital. I didn’t drive and mum just did night shift, so she needed to sleep. Grandma told mum to bring me back to her and she would take me back to the hospital to be induced. And so, she did. She put up watching some crap on tv because that’s what I wanted. She bought me food and omg lemonade. And Grandma, she stayed until midnight. As there was no movement in the camp apart from my 50 gazillion showers, We had decided that it was time for her to go home to grandpa and get some sleep. We knew that tomorrow was going to be a big day. So at 4.50am on the 4th of September, my waters broke. Grandma and Grandpa were the first to be called as they were closer, then mum and my brother, and then my dad and 2nd mum, sister, and brother. Now those that know my grandmother knows that she was always on my grandfathers back about speeding all the time. But this time it was her. Grandma got the call at 4.55am and was parked and in the hospital right beside me from 5.10am. She did good. I said to her that she didn’t need to be in the birthing suit with me, I could do it on my own. She looked at me and said, my grand daughter needs me, I am her and I will not go anywhere unless your mother or father turns up, so until then sweetheart you have me to be right beside you all the way. And she did, all the screaming and oh the swearing, Looked and apologised and grandma said, you have a free pass today after this, I don’t want to hear it again. Ha ha. And well she stayed all the way to cutting his cord, Holding him and hearing his name, Adrian. At 6.17am Adrian John was born. She kissed my forehead and cried. She was so proud. Everyone else turned up 10 minutes later. This is the most precious memory I have. There has been all types of memories. Like the day I told her I was pregnant. Or the day Brad and I told Grandma we got engaged the look and the tears in both grandparents’ eyes. Even the shepherd’s pie or the pea and ham soup grandma made.

Grandma looked after everyone, especially both her mum Nanny B and her mother-in-law Nanny O no matter what. Even when both Nanny's were in the aged care home there was always weekly visits. When they were, well coming to their final stages, Grandma and Grandpa would be there every day. Morning to night. Nanny B was the first to pass, in September 2011. Nanny O passed in July 2012. It wasn’t until Grandma stopped to rest after Nanny O passed, that she became ill. And this is where both her life and grandpa’s life changed. All our lives changed. Late July early August 2012 was when she was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer. 28th August 2012 was the day that she had her surgery. Man that day went on forever. But doctors were happy. Then the chemotherapy started. Firstly she wouldn’t let any one sit with her except grandpa or my mum. Then I was able to go, in place of mum. It was just the way our family was, grandma was not fighting this battle on her own. October 19th 2012 my husband proposed to me. Grandma was so happy. I said to grandma that day (20th) that I wanted a 2 year engagement at least. But that was then when Brad said nope, Were getting married within the 12 months. Grandma’s face lit up light a Christmas tree. It gave grandma something to look forward to, a goal. So we did it. 10 months and 25 days later Brad and I tied the knot. And Grandma was there. She didn’t miss a beat. Over the time we got good news, that the cancer was shrinking, then gone. But it wasn’t long before she was sick again. 2014 was the worst year. The cancer was back, and this time there was no cure. But that didn’t stop her doing the things she loved. Cancer council came out, And they helped grandma with pamper days, wigs, everything. She loved every moment. November 2014 she slipped and fell in the back yard of her home. And she had multiple fractures where they had to send her to the repat hospital in Heidelberg. That sucked so much. We couldn’t see her as it was too far to drive all the time. Lucky she had her phone so we would annoy her, calling her, sending photos of the kids, everything. She loved it all. Grandma loved reminding me of the song she use to sing to me. Tell Laura I love her. She was the only one that would get away with singing that song to me. It was coming up to Christmas and Grandma still not home, but thankfully being transferred to Ballarat Base so we could be close. She wanted to be home so she could dress the house up like she did every year. Everything had to be perfect. She was Christmas. On the way home from my mother-in-law’s Christmas catch up, Christmas eve. I got that phone call, the one no ones ever wants. My mum telling me I better be prepared as the next few days are going to be crucial. So we stayed at mums, in grandma and grandpa’s caravan. Did the whole Christmas thing with the kids. Ate and then made our way to the hospital. Spend some time with Grandma and went back the next day. The whole family was there. We all took turns in sitting with her, having lunch, as long as we were close by. I wanted to be there at the hospital at 6am that morning. It was boxing day. That was the day where we were all still in food comas from the day before, Grandma and Grandpa fighting over what we were watching, She wanted her sailing and he wanted the cricket. But this day was not the same. This day was the last day we had on this earth with Grandma. Now, she held on. She always made Christmas and boxing day family days. So she held on till she couldn’t any more. And at 11.30pm Boxing night, My grandpa and uncle walked out into the family area and we all just knew. That smiling, happy, silly, wonderful and beautiful woman was gone.

Grandma was a fighter. And she fought to the last breath.  

I know this is long. And I know I had to stop myself before it came a million pages. But this Angel, My grandmother is why I am fundraising. I am raising funds to help find a cure for your grandmother, your child’s grandmother, your mum, everyone. Not just bowel cancer, but every cancer. Cancer Council does so much to help those not only suffering cancer but their families too. So Please even if it is $5 dollars, Please donate. Share this link too please. More that see this, the more we can all raise for cancer. I wish I was able to sell Daffodil Merchandise but thanks to covid we are unable to again this year.

 

Thankyou all for taking the time to read my story. Grandma, I hope you are still as proud of me as you always have been. I miss you and love you more and more every day, I can never stop.

Grandma, Laura Ann Ockenden 9/2/1943 to 26/12/2014

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Laura Anderson

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