• One of the teams at Bullcreek Leeming Junior Football Club.
LEEMING’S Emma Bodin knows all about the devastating impact of pancreatic cancer.
She lost her “vivacious and beautiful” mum Carole to the disease two and a half years ago.
Unfortunately she was misdiagnosed by three doctors and the cancer wasn’t picked up until it was stage 4 and terminal.
“When my mum was finally diagnosed at the end of 2016, the only thing I had heard about pancreatic cancer was that Steve Jobs and Patrick Swayze had died from it,” Ms Bodin says.
“It wasn’t a cancer that you saw splashed all over the TV or newspapers unless someone well- known had it.
“All that changed once her treatment started.”
Thanks to some great care from her doctor and nurses at the hospital, Carole put up a brave fight and lived for another three years.
“I promised myself after she passed, when I managed to start seeing through the fog of my grief and loss, that I would make a difference somehow, whether it be big or small to help in the fight against this disease,” Ms Bodin says.
She’s done exactly that – Ms Bodin is on the committee of Bullcreek Leeming Junior Football Club and has got them signed up for this year’s #playinpurple, where teams wear purple socks for one round to raise funds for medical research into pancreatic cancer.
“I brought it up at a football committee meeting and from the get-go the club’s response has been nothing but phenomenal,” Ms Bodin says.
“With player numbers of just over 500 kids, we have had a 95 per cent participation rate in purchasing the socks to play in the round.
“That’s 500 kids (and some parents) who will be out on the football fields that weekend, supporting #playinpurple round.”
Launched eight years ago by Australian cancer foundation PanKind, the national #playinpurple campaign is gaining traction and last year almost 100 clubs and 14,000 players from all codes participated.
Clubs from Greater Perth taking part this year include West Perth FC, Kingsley Westside FC and Perth Glory.
Glory tragically lost former midfielder Liam Miller, who had also played for Manchester United and the Republic of Ireland, to pancreatic cancer at the age of 36.
Pancreatic cancer is now the third leading cause of cancer deaths in Australia with a survival rate of just 11.5 per cent.
PanKind is aiming to triple the pancreatic cancer survival rate by 2030 and increase the quality of life for patients and their families by investing in groundbreaking medical research and raising awareness.
“Awareness on this scale is exactly what we need to help shine a light on the disease and #playinpurple is a wonderful opportunity to increase engagement between clubs, players and the community, all participating for
a very important cause,” says PanKind CEO Michelle Stewart.
#PlayinPurple will be held over two weekends on July 23/24 and 30/31.
“We have had nothing but positive feedback about the upcoming weekend, which will not only involve the kids playing in their purple socks, but also a family fun day with a sausage sizzle, cupcakes, raffles and more – all purple of course to raise much needed funds for Pancreatic Cancer research,” Ms Bodin says.
For more details and to donate go to playinpurple-2022.raisely.com
by STEPHEN POLLOCK