2020 Team Blakely

2020 Team Blakely

As part of this year’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, Danny Simpson committed to dying his beard a different colour every week!

As part of this year’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September, Danny Simpson committed to dying his beard a different colour every week with the aim to raise important funds for childhood cancer research.

His commitment and optimism inspired and bought together the whole community raising an amazing $43,000. The motivation behind Danny’s bold fundraising effort is his daughter, Blakely.

The story started in November 2016; the day Blakely was born. Mum Carlie and Dad Danny noticed a huge lump on baby Blakely’s back as soon as she was born. Within minutes, Blakely was taken away and they were told the worst news any parent should hear, “prepare for the worst and say goodbye”. 

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Fast forward to December 2016, the last day in the office before Christmas and Danny received an urgent call from Carlie to meet her at the hospital in the oncology department. Danny knew instantly that they weren’t calling him to deliver good news. Yet again, Blakely’s parents were faced with words that no parent should be faced with and their world was turned upside down. 

“Your daughter has cancer… But we don’t know what type, we don’t know what the odds are and we sure as hell don’t know how to treat it.”  

It took 4 weeks until an expert from Harvard diagnosed Blakely with a Ewing Like Sarcoma. A ‘like’ cancer is a form of cancer so rare and unique that there isn’t any research on how to treat it. It was at this moment that Danny realised, the only hope for his daughter’s survival would be through scientific research. 

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“We asked what the long term chances are of her remaining cancer free, the Doctors won’t comment….. because they just don’t know. The only way they can work this out is by research”.

After more than 50 general anaesthetics, multiple surgeries, more than 60 weeks of chemo, hundreds of visits to the hospital for blood transfusions, line care, injections, antibiotics, scans and emergency visits, Blakely has now been cancer free for longer than what she had this terrible disease for. 

To stop this from happening to other children like Blakely, Danny is determined to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research. So, this September to support Childhood Cancer Awareness month, Danny decided to brave the dye. Dying his beard, a different colour each week. From bright pink to bright blue. It was quite the look!

Other members of Danny’s family were keen to get involved and this is when Team Blakely began. 

Camryn (aged 9), Blakely’s older sister decided to get her hair cut for the first time ever and raised over $8,500! 

Reegan (aged 11), Blakely’s best friend chose to chop the pony surpassing her goal and raising over $3,500.

And finally, Josh and Robert who opted to lose their beards raising over $3,500 between them. 

Team Blakely didn’t stop there. Determined to raise even more funds for The Kids’ Cancer Project, they organised more events than you could shake a stick at. Getting involved in dress up days and perfecting their baking to host epic bake sales. This skyrocketed their fundraising taking them to a grand total of $43,100 to go towards funding bold scientific research. 

We can’t thank Team Blakely enough for their triumphant effort! They really are a dream team.

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