When 10-year-old Lily Chanter's father lost his life to melanoma 3 months ago, she knew she wanted to do something to make a difference. This month, she's turning her passion into action, and joining more than 8,000 other Victorians as an Australia's Biggest Morning Tea host.
"Very soon after Andrew's diagnosis last June, Lily began talking about finding a way to help," Lily's mother Leanne Chanter said.
"I think she found it difficult to accept support at first, and it helped her to be able to think about giving back herself," Ms Chanter said.
"Australia's Biggest Morning Tea is something that we can all do, so Lily and her younger brother Harry are each holding an event at their respective schools, and I'll host one on the weekend for all our family and friends that supported us," she said.
Ms Chanter said that the importance of Australia's Biggest Morning Tea to her family goes well beyond raising funds.
"We want to raise money, but it's also a way for us to thank the people who supported us, and a lovely way for us to remember Andrew," Ms Chanter said.
"He always used to talk about how we were living the dream - that we were lucky to have such a good life. I think that's something that we've all remembered, so each of our Australia's Biggest Morning Tea events will be based on the theme ‘Live the dream for Andy', she said.
This year, the Cancer Council expects that 500,000 Victorians like the Chanters will raise more than $2 million for the cancer fight by attending or hosting an Australia's Biggest Morning Tea. All funds raised will support life-saving cancer research, support services for people in times of great need and prevention programs to help Victorians reduce their cancer risk.
"It's very important to us that we try to stop other families having to go through what we've been through," Ms Chanter said.
"We want our funds to help educate people on how they can prevent cancers like melanoma, and we want to help find new treatments," she said.
This year, approximately 5400 Victorian men will lose their lives to cancer. Many of them are fathers just like Lily and Harry's dad.
You can help fight cancer by hosting an Australia's Biggest Morning Tea. Even a five-minute cuppa with friends or workmates can help to save a life.
To register, or for ideas and resources to plan a great Australia's Biggest Morning Tea, visit www.biggestmorningtea.com.au.