Dialog Box

Children's Tumour Foundation

A lesson in gratitude

This news post was supposed to be an update on the tax appeal and how the generosity of our community has stretched in such uncertain times. We all know 2020 has not been kind. But as I was looking for inspiration as to how to begin, this note appeared in my inbox and it summarised perfectly the sentiment I was trying to communicate.

Sometimes I just want it to stop.

Talk of COVID, protests, bushfires, recession. I lose my way. Become convinced that this “new normal” is real life. But then I meet an 87-year-old who talks of living through polio, diphtheria, Vietnam, protests and yet is still enchanted with life.

He seemed surprised when I said that 2020 must be especially challenging for him. “No” he said slowly, looking me straight in the eyes. “I learned a long time ago to not see the world through the printed headlines. I see the world through the people that surround me. I see the world with the realisation that we love big. Therefore, I just choose to write my own headlines:

“Husband loves wife today”. “Family drops everything to come to Grandma’s bedside”. He patted my hand, “Old man makes new friend.”

His words collide with my worries, freeing them from the tether I had been holding tight. They float away. I am left with a renewed spirit. My headline now reads:

“Woman overwhelmed by the spirit of kindness and the reminder that the capacity to love is never ending”.

I don’t know who wrote it, and I took a small liberty in relating the worries of the world with Australian concerns, but the message I hope you take away from this is that everything is a matter of perspective.

At the beginning of June, we opened up to our supporters about how challenging the last 6 or more months has been for fundraising and the subsequent impact this will have on our service provision. (Read Here) We called on you, seeking understanding and support – and we have been overwhelmed by your response. More than we could have hoped for and a reminder that kindness is catching.

I wanted to take this moment to thank you personally for your kindness and generosity. Along with your donation, we saw fundraisers pop up all over the place, donations of time and money were extended and a wonderful sponsor, PBK Management offered to double donations in June - helping inspire even greater generosity. Long-time supporter Dr Greg and Michelle Whiteley and Whiteley Corporation also committed additional funds to ensure our critical support services continue to be prioritised now and in the future.

It is also a perfect moment to remind ourselves of what we have achieved while in lockdown. 

  • NF Connect was born out of COVID
  • Our Peer Leader Training program was initiated; and 
  • We were able to launch our new website - a resource that will continue to serve our community for many years to come.

If I was to write a headline that summarised how we feel as an organisation right now, it would read:

“Sorry COVID, but kindness is also contagious.”

Never under-estimate your own ability to rise to a challenge and look at the world through a different lens. Our NF Heroes and their families do it every single day. Thank you for your ongoing support and generosity.

Together we can CONQUER NF.


Renee Anschau

Head of Marketing and Fundraising

15 July 2020
Category: News