The daughter of a cattle farmer from Millbank west of Kempsey has inspired her community to support the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute at Port Macquarie.
When Merinda Kyle found out her dad Neal, a patient at the cancer unit, was in remission she wanted the doctors and nurses to know how thankful she was.
The 18-year-old former Kempsey High school captain decided on a “spring snip” at the Willawarrin Hotel in a bid to raise funds.
Her trademark dark hair, long enough to sit on, received the chop and in return a packed house at the hotel raised a massive $10,500.
“I was just so relieved when I heard dad was getting better, I wanted to do something to give back. All the nurses in the treatment room, and Dr (Stephen) Begbie, were wonderful,” she said.
“I had never had short hair in my life and thought losing it was a small sacrifice to make if we were going to fundraise for this fantastic, local cancer service.
“Everyone came on board… so many people, including small businesses, in the Macleay helped out with raffle prizes. We even had three steers go to market and the stock and station agent waived his fee, and another steer was auctioned at the pub on the night.
“A lot of people helped, too many to name, but I really want to thank Maree Tyne and Maudie Reid who helped organise the event and the Willawarrin Hotel for hosting it.”
Proud father Neal Kyle also thanked his community for getting behind the fundraiser and urged everyone to be vigilant with their check-ups and blood tests.
“I was one of these blokes who thought there was no need for check-ups - I won’t get cancer,” he said.
“Well, that wasn’t what happened early in 2017. I’m just thankful I have wonderful kids and had a fantastic team at the cancer unit taking care of me.”
Nurse Unit Manager Jenny Baroutis thanked the upper Macleay community for their support.
“We are all touched by the tremendous generosity of such a small community,” Ms Baroutis said.
“This donation will directly benefit locals who are receiving cancer treatment at their local cancer unit.
The Mid North Coast Cancer Institute’s Clinical Trials Unit at Port Macquarie is a service designed to streamline cancer clinical trials undertaken across the Mid North Coast Local Health District.
In so doing, the office is able to provide more than 60 oncology clinical trials to local residents.
Ms Baroutis said Clinical Research is the foundation on which clinical medicine is practised.
“It is the source of new approaches to difficult health management issues and delivers state of the art diagnostic and treatment options,” Ms Baroutis said.