In October 2017, Alana de Kort was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, a cancerous tumour that typically grows in or around the bones.
In a ten month stretch she endured 16 rounds of chemotherapy and 16 rounds of radiotherapy to combat the disease. Sadly, in July 2018, one week before her fifteenth birthday, Alana passed away, leaving her family truly devastated.
Since that time, the de Korts have worked tirelessly to honour Alana’s memory by raising awareness and funds for childhood cancer research under the Blue Bottle banner.
Learn more: Blue Bottle | Messages of love to Alana
In 2019, they came up with some innovative fundraising ideas – a Guinness World Record attempt as well as a jet ski trek from Long Reef Beach in Sydney to Agnes Water in Queensland, as Alana’s older brother Jake explains.
“After our Guinness World Record attempt of forming the largest human image of a pineapple, the plan is to do a two-week jet ski trip from Long Reef to Agnes Water and, along the way, stop at ten different locations and have lots of charity and fundraising events,” he says.
“We have a golf day planned, a trivia night, a jet ski ride to Fraser Island and all sorts of other activities,” says Jake.
The family will host a gala dinner following all these events to wrap up and celebrate the Blue Bottle team’s successes and achievements in raising awareness and funds.
Read more: Little sister, best friend
Never give up for kids with cancer
Originally planned for April and August 2020, the Blue Bottle fundraising events have been postponed multiple times due to COVID lockdowns and other restrictions.
For many, it would be easy to give up. But after attracting overwhelming support from the community and recognising the importance of honouring Alana’s memory, the family is more determined than ever.
“As a family we are passionate about raising awareness of childhood cancer and believe spreading awareness will lead to greater support for research,” says Alana’s mum Jacqui.
The family plan to hold the world record attempt, jet ski trek and gala dinner as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, they will continue their work advocating the importance of childhood cancer research.
“We are proudly supporting The Kids' Cancer Project because they stand for science, solutions and survival,” Jacqui says.
“All the money we raise from our Blue Bottle events will go to scientific research to help find effective cures for all childhood cancers,” she says.
The family would like to thank all supporters who remain committed to assisting Blue Bottle’s big events when they finally take place including JSW Powersports, Gold Coast, Port Macquarie Lifeblood Donor Centre, JEM Promotional Products, Northern Beaches Council, Dee Why RSL, Chilli Websites, Viacom, NRMA Big4 – Gold Coast, Big4 Great Lakes at Forester-Tuncurry, Ingenia Communities, Ampol, Suttons Rosebery.
You can support the de Kort family’s mission by visiting their fundraising page and making a donation, or by contributing to their bigger fundraising activities. To learn more contact firstname.lastname@example.org