In 1989, Lindy was 25 years old and had been married for only seven months. Then she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
That’s why she was inspired to volunteer every year for Daffodil Day – and has done for nearly 15 years.
“The opportunity to volunteer came up at a timely moment and I wanted to help raise money,” said the mother of two, Lindy.
“I have fun and I enjoy it! Daffodils are bright and colourful, so it’s a nice day to be giving money and buy some flowers, plus you’re raising money for all cancers.”
The Daffodil Day Appeal is Cancer Council’s iconic annual campaign. Every person who donates, volunteers or buys daffodils throughout August will be helping to fund vital cancer research.
Lindy volunteers at the Malvern Central stall every year, as she lives close by and enjoys connecting with her local community.
“Going to Malvern Central is a good thing because I know a lot of people walking through, so the minute I see them and they see me, they will come to the stall.
“Some people will who visit will say they’ve been personally affected, or that a relative has been affected, but not everybody who approaches you tells their story – they just want to support Cancer Council.”
There are a group of friendly volunteers at the Malvern Central stall who usually return each year to raise money for cancer research.
“There’s a few of us that have been doing it the last couple years so hopefully they’ll still do it this year; I see them once a year and they’re nice people.
Lindy shared the story of her experience with ovarian cancer in the lead up to the 30th anniversary of her diagnosis.
“My husband Maurice and I had only been married six or seven months, and one weekend I felt unwell while I was working at my catering business. I just felt off and I couldn’t quite work out why."
Lindy and Maurice on their wedding day in December, 1988
“I was literally lying in bed feeling not well on the Sunday morning, my husband could see a lump, so I went to my GP on the Monday morning,” explained Lindy.
After a couple of medical appointments early in the week, Lindy was quickly booked in for surgery.
“That Wednesday, I checked into the hospital late in the afternoon, and was operated on Thursday morning. That was when the surgeon discovered it was a tumour,” said Lindy, although she didn’t learn of the shocking news right away.
“I do remember on that Friday morning after the surgery, my husband Maurice was unshaven and looked terrible and drained, so I asked what was wrong. He told me, ‘you have cancer’.”
“It was harder on him – I was the one going through it, but it was extremely difficult on him,” said Lindy.
“He was fantastic, he was a pillar of strength to me. It’s not nice to watch someone being sick,” shared Lindy.
Lindy and her daughter Tatum (left), her son Samuel (middle right), and her husband Maurice (right) volunteering for FareShare – a charititable organisation who provide free meals to those in need.
Lindy remembers that during her diagnosis and treatment, she coped well. It wasn’t until she had recovered that she began to struggle.
“Funnily enough I never struggled with having cancer when I did, I think it just happened so quickly. There was a lot of attention on me – people gave me flowers and were lovely.
“Then when I got better, everyone sort of continued with their life. That was when I struggled.”
“I remember in February and March of 1990; I would be crying and couldn’t understand what was wrong with me. It just hit me, the realisation that I had been sick,” explained Lindy.
Lindy says that time has been the best healer, and has helped with coming to terms with this difficult time in her life.
“I remember in that first year of remission, I would think ‘a year ago today I had my first chemotherapy, three weeks later I had my second’, and so on.
“That went on for two years, and now I couldn’t tell you! I’d have to go back to a calendar and remember,” she shared.
Today, Lindy is well and looking forward to another Daffodil Day at Malvern Central.
She encourages anyone who wants to support a cancer free future to volunteer or fundraise for Cancer Council.
“Get involved with Daffodil Day! People can donate or do whatever’s comfortable for them. Whether that’s donating a little bit of money online, or volunteering.”