Fight cancer with a cuppa

By Madeleine Caccianiga

Since Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea started in 1994, hundreds of Goulburn Valley residents have come together for a cuppa and tasty treat, to support those affected by cancer.

This year, Shepparton’s Maree Geisler will celebrate her 17th year of hosting for the Cancer Council, organising morning tea for Notre Dame College staff.

Believing the world could one day become a cancer-free zone, Mrs Geisler said every donation counted towards finding a cure.

‘‘I think it’s important to raise as much money as we can — to fund cancer research and also to support people that are suffering the effects of cancer,’’ she said.

Becoming a morning tea host after losing a long list of family members and friends to cancer, Mrs Geisler said her brother was sadly diagnosed with jaw cancer last year.

‘‘It all started — he just had a niggling tooth,’’ she said.

‘‘He had a 17-hour operation and thankfully because of the advance in technology he’s okay.’’

The operation included the removal of teeth, part of his jaw, bone being taken from his arm and skin grafts.

‘‘He is still recovering, but he’s okay and that’s the main story,’’ she said.

Setting a fundraising goal of $500, Mrs Geisler said raising money helped provide better cancer outcomes.

‘‘The statistics show that 20 years ago cancer was a death sentence, but now with all the medications, surgeries, the outcome can be quite effective and now people move toward treatment in hope of a cure,’’ she said.

Cancer Council Victoria spokeswomen Gill Deed said the official day to host a morning tea was Thursday, May 23, but people could register to host any time this month and next month.

‘‘By hosting or attending a morning tea anywhere in Australia, you will help Cancer Council continue our lifesaving cancer research, prevention, advocacy and support programs for people affected by cancer,’’ Ms Deed said.

She said the organisation hoped to recruit more than 6500 morning tea hosts and raise more than $3million to help people across Victoria affected by cancer.

For information or to register to host a morning tea, visit or phone 1300656585 to receive a free host kit.