West Coast Eagles' Andrew Gaff, Dig Deep ambassador Sebastian Atkinson, Rick the Rock Eagle, Kate Lambie, Stella Atkinson, Cancer Council's Daffy and Luke Shuey.
The West Coast Eagles have been supporting us since 2005, through their annual Dig Deep campaign. To date the club has raised over $1.47 million for West Australians affected by cancer.
We are encouraging all Eagles fans to get behind the Dig Deep campaign this year and help support West Australian families affected by cancer, like our ambassador family, the Atkinsons.
Perth grandmother, Kate Lambie, was diagnosed with a benign meningioma (a tumour growing in the membranes of the brain) in 2002.
It originated from Kate's brain stem and then grew into surrounding space to wrap around the optic nerve.
Her daughter, Mikala Atkinson, explains how Kate's diagnosis has impacted their family.
"When Mum was first diagnosed it was a very scary time for our family. It was not something we knew anything about and therefore we had no idea what to expect or how it would affect Mum going forwards," said Mikala.
Since her initial diagnosis, Kate has undergone multiple surgeries and rounds of radiotherapy, and the recurrent brain cancer has resulted in limitations on her health including Kate's vision, balance and short term memory issues.
But Kate and her family haven't let this hold them back.
"Mum is an amazing person. She has demonstrated remarkable resilience and courage to have faced what she has faced. Supporting her through three major surgeries and multiple rounds of radiotherapy, we are all more grounded - and a little hardened too. I think we live with far more appreciation for being in the moment and enjoying the times where everyone is happy and healthy," said Mikala.
Kate's grandson (Mikala's son) 12-year-old Sebastian is this year's Dig Deep ambassador and the entire family are die-hard West Coast Eagles' fans.
"I think Sebastian has watched the 2018 Grand Final more than 20 times already!," Mikala said.
The Atkinson family on the way to a West Coast Eagles game (Mikala, left and Dig Deep ambassador Sebastian second from left)
"As a kid I started going to games at 13 and have followed the team ever since. Our whole house stops for the match every weekend."
Sebastian is very excited and honoured to have been selected as this year's ambassador.
"The experience of mum's cancer journey has been quite eye opening for both him and for Stella (his younger sister) and they know the importance of support during hard times," said Mikala.
Mikala, Sebastian and Kate are encouraging fellow Eagles' fans to get on board and dig deep this month.
"Without donor funding Cancer Council WA can't continue the great work they do - not only in directly supporting those going through cancer, but also in funding the research that goes into trying to prevent cancer from occurring in the first place," Mikala said.
How you can Dig Deep to help families like the Atkinson's
1. Volunteer on Dig Deep Game Day
We are still looking for amazing people to volunteer and shake donation tins before the West Coast Eagles Dig Deep Game Day on July 27 at Optus Stadium. Register now.
2. Donate at Dig Deep Game Day
If you're at the Dig Deep Game on Saturday 27 July, keep an eye out for our volunteers and make sure you donate!
3. Donate online now
If you can't make the game, you can still donate online at any time to support West Australian families impacted by cancer.
Psst! Visit westcoasteagles.com.au on Monday 15 July for an exciting Dig Deep competition!