Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Mums rally to help Benalla mother battling cancer

A Benalla mothers’ group will hold an auction night to help Kate Wagner who was diagnosed with stage four metastatic melanoma.

MONIQUE FREER January 10, 2014 8:53am

Grateful for help: Kate Wagner with her children, Eve, three, and Maclan, six months.

When a group of Benalla mothers heard about Kate Wagner’s battle with cancer they were spurred into action.

They had never met her, but they wanted to help.

‘‘We are mothers ourselves, and it can happen to any one of us,’’ Mums2Mum organiser Jackie Sheridan said.

As reported in the Ensign in December, Ms Wagner was diagnosed with stage four metastatic melanoma a week after giving birth to her son Maclan in July last year.

The shock diagnosis has left the Wagners in financial distress, with Ms Wagner unable to work and her husband Richard looking after their children — Eve, three, and Maclan, six months.

The Benalla mothers’ group has stepped in to try to reduce the financial burden of the illness, organising an auction night and sausage sizzle to raise money for the Wagner family.

‘‘We hope it will raise much-needed funds for medical costs or whatever they need at this time,’’ Ms Sheridan said.

‘‘The girls had been talking about having a silent auction on Facebook, but we thought we could make it bigger and better and get the community behind us,’’ group member Kate Parker said.

The face behind popular cake business The Greedy Baker, Ms Wagner said she was grateful for the generosity of the mothers’ group.

‘‘I was just overwhelmed, that is the biggest feeling — and grateful,’’ Ms Wagner said.

‘‘It is just lovely.’’

Ms Wagner said the community had been incredibly supportive after reading of her battle with cancer in the Ensign last month.

‘‘We’ve had people just turn up and call and they’ve brought everything from eggs and gift cards and offers of help and presents for Maclan and Eve over Christmas, and it has been tremendous, the response has been overwhelming,’’ she said.

After two craniotomies and whole-brain radiation, Ms Wagner received the welcome news shortly before Christmas that her brain is clear of cancer cells, allowing her to proceed with clinical drug trials.

‘‘My oncologist thinks that my body is doing really well at the moment and he’s happy with what’s happening and he thinks that we’ve got a bit of time to wait for a better trial,’’ she said.

‘‘It was a massive relief right before Christmas.’’

To donate to the Wagner family visit https:// or visit the Facebook page ‘Helping Sweet Kate AKA The Greedy Baker’.

Mums2Mum will hold a sausage sizzle to raise funds this Saturday at Woolworths Benalla from 9 am.

Cinderella Dry Cleaner owners Liliya Kanina and Norm Farken will donate 10 per cent of whatever comes through their doors for three months to the Wagner family.



The Mums2Mum auction night will be held on February 1 at 7pm.

The Lakeside Community Centre has donated the venue, and Woolworths Benalla has donated light nibbles.

Local musicians will donate their time to provide entertainment and there will be lucky door prizes on offer.

Auction items include a family pass to Melbourne Aquarium and vouchers to local businesses, with plenty more exciting items to be confirmed shortly.

Entry is $15 and includes light nibbles and entertainment, with drinks at bar prices.

Tickets are available from Benalla Bowls Club, Benalla Sportspower or at the door on the night.

For more information, or to donate auction items, phone Becc on 0400374369.

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