Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Shepparton dash a ray of sunshine

There were plenty of colourful costumes at KidsTown yesterday for Shepparton's first Sunflower Dash, which raises money for the Leukaemia Foundation.

DARREN LINTON June 30, 2014 3:55am

Isabella Pellegrino, 13, and Hanna Carroll, 13, of Shepparton.

Some crazy costumes and a short sprint or stroll with a sunflower will bring support and hope to people suffering from blood disorders.

In its first year in Shepparton, the Leukaemia Foundation’s Sunflower Dash was well supported, with runners and walkers turning up at KidsTown to support a worthy cause.

The funds raised will help support people with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood disorders through family counselling, face-to-face and telephone support, and a Blood Buddies program to pair newly diagnosed people with others on a similar journey.

The foundation’s services are provided free of charge and without ongoing government funding.

‘‘Every day, 31 Australians are diagnosed with leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma,’’ Leukaemia Foundation Victoria general manager Stephanie Hechenberger said.

‘‘Finding a sunny side to life can be hard when blood cancer shadows your days — it changes how you see yourself, your relationships with others and your enjoyment of life.’’

The foundation’s sunniest event draws on the vibrancy of the sunflower and is held at a time of year when for most Australians, the days have turned dark and cold.

‘‘It is a metaphor for how important emotional support can be for those trying to cope with a life-threatening disease,’’ Ms Hechenberger said.

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