I recently attended a luncheon to celebrate the launch of Dine at Mine, Camp Quality‘s national fundraising campaign that supports children and their families living with cancer. Dine at Mine’s aim is bring together your favourite people over a meal, whilst raising funds to help kids living with cancer.
This beautiful lunch touched me in so many different feelings. I/we cannot imagine nor understand what someone is going through and if you do, my heart goes out to you – in strength, positive vibes and time to listen to your story. We often don’t know what to say or do, but there is something you can do.
We had a special family join us and we got to hear their story of their daughter Victoria, aged 8 – I sat next to Ken who shared his journey. The Robinson family, video clip from camp quality below.
Camp Quality, Australia’s most trusted children’s charity, embarked on its national fundraising campaign, Dine at Mine, combining Australia’s love of cooking with a campaign that has a big impact on kids living with cancer. The concept is simple, fun and exciting – share a meal with your favourite people and ask them to contribute what they would have spent on a meal out to Camp Quality. Easy, right?
With a meal out at a restaurant costing Australians on average $30 per meal, this donation can go a long way for Camp Quality, who utilise the money raised to run programs that support kids and their families at every stage of the cancer journey. Camp Quality believes laughter is the best medicine and runs programs focussed on the power of positive psychology to build optimism and resilience.
Lunch was hosted by iconic restaurant, Chiswick, in the beautiful leafy Sydney suburb of Woollahra. On the menu, designed for sharing and reflects the simplicity of showcasing the freshest produce and changing seasons. From wood-fired garlic bread with garden oregano, Heirloom carrots drizzled with house buttermilk curd with sesame and yuzu, Squid ink cracker with avocado and pickled ginger Yellowfin tuna. Hearty mains from a whole roasted chicken with Jerusalem artichoke and roma beans, to a Wood roasted Moran family lamb with zucchini and pine nut. An array of garden fresh garden salad and broccolini. To our delight towards the end of the lunch. Valrohna chocolate, passion fruit with toasted marshmallow, Pineapple bombe with citrus meringue lychee.
The story of the Robinsons
Enjoying the time together over a shared meal benefits families, including the Robinsons, who have been on a cancer journey for the past five-and-a-half years. Parents Wendy and Ken Robinson were told their beautiful and bubbly daughter Victoria had been diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was just three years old. Now eight, Victoria has spent the large part of her childhood battling cancer.
Ken Robinson shared with me at the table, “one of our psychologist came to us and your are under an enormous amount of stress. I want to take you away on camp”. Ken will never forget his first reaction when they first arrived at the camp – “a complete stranger came up to me, gave me a hug and said, this weekend you can stop being a parent, we are looking after you”. I shed a small tear with Ken, knowing that absurd of escaping away from society to go to camp. Rest assured the volunteers at Camp Quality gave the Robinson family, a weekend of laughter, games and support from other families going through the cancer journey. This allowed the not only Ken and Wendy to help through the process, but for the whole family to reset the clock.
Wendy Robinson says, “Our children always return home from a Camp Quality program with confidence in who they are and what they have overcome. The invaluable relationships they have with all the staff and volunteers is a support network for us all. Victoria is excited to host and cook for her friends at her very own Dine at Mine this year to give back to Camp Quality for bringing laughter back into her family.”
Ken also shared with the help of Camp Quality, you step through a door and forget about day to day battles you face, it doesn’t take the pain away but it helps. For Wendy, “as a mother, I know that each time one of our children is involved in a Camp Quality program they return home with greater confidence in who they are and what they have overcome. Plus the relationships they have with all the staff and volunteers, is another necessary support network for us all.”
By hosting a Dine at Mine, Australians help Camp Quality provide essential services at hospital, at home, in schools and out in the community to create the best quality of life for kids and their families living with cancer.
Make it yours during August and September 2016 and host your own Dine at Mine event. Not only are you raising the much needed funds to help create a better quality of life for kids living with cancer, you will be helping a not-for-profit charity that cares for families living with cancer, just like the Robinson family.
Did you know…
$20 – contributes towards to a hospital program to encourage parent to connect and support within the hospital
$30 – a Family Fun Day, where a child is able to connect with other children
$50 – to send a child aged 4-6 gets to go to mini camp
$75 – a Child Life Therapy session to help overcome the trauma of medical procedures through education
$120 – can recruit and train a Camp Quality volunteer, who provides support and encouragement to a child when away at camp
$1,300 – to send a child to camp
Thank you Camp Quality and to the Robinson family for sharing your story and journey.
*main image: Robinson Family, Susan Fleming (Camp Quality)