Men shed $1000 for wellness centre

By Charmayne Allison

ECHUCA Men’s Shed has donated $1000 to Echuca Regional Health’s cancer and wellness centre.

And for many Men’s Shed members, it’s a cause close to their hearts.

"Everyone has been touched or will be touched at some time by this dreaded disease," Echuca Men’s Shed president Peter Graham said.

"So our donation, small as it is, will go hopefully towards enabling the betterment of patients."

Tragically, Mr Graham lost his parents to cancer while they were still young.

"My parents died quite some time ago at 43 and 45," Mr Graham said.

"Back in those days the treatment wasn’t available, unfortunate as it is. But I’ve also lost really good mates through cancer.

"A lot of the guys (at the Men’s Shed) have had issues either with themselves or their wives or families. So it’s all around us, it’s almost a daily thing that is spoken about."

Men’s Shed vice president Graham Green is no exception.

"I donated a kidney in 1994 to my sister. And unfortunately in 2014 I got cancer in my remaining kidney which I’ve had a partial nephrectomy for," he said.

"I’m now running on two-thirds of one kidney. That’s how it really touched home for me."

The donation was originally given to Men’s Shed by Rotary after they helped at the annual steam rally.

"It was $1000 we hadn’t budgeted for in any way. So we thought we might as well pass it on to the cancer centre and do a bit for the community," Mr Green said.

Echuca Regional Health nurse unit manager Lyn Jeffreson said the hospital was grateful for the donation: "We see that a lot of men who access the Men’s Shed are gathering together, supporting each other through whatever journey they are on and through whatever adversity they’re facing," she said.

"And so for a donation like that to come back to a purpose built cancer and wellness centre for the community is just fantastic."

And while he’s seen his fair share of grief inflicted by cancer throughout the years, Mr Graham is hoping for a brighter future.

"I hope a cure is brought about very quickly so we see an end to this pain and suffering, not just for cancer patients but also the families, the friends," he said.

"It has such a huge ripple effect right through."