Double cancer shock inspires Busselton writer to support Cancer Council WA

Posted 3 May 2021.

Fran and Alistair McGuiness at Crawford Lodge

Pictured above: Fran and Alistair McGuiness with Ron ten Hoor, our Accommodation Services Manager, at Crawford Lodge.

Local travel writer turned Fringe performer, Alistair McGuinness, has donated half of the proceeds of his sell-out Fringe show to Cancer Council WA following two cancer diagnoses in his family in the past few years.

Alistair said his stage play, Soundtrack , which he performed at the LiveLighter Fringe in Busselton in February, was a tribute to his brother who died recently of throat cancer.

"We were listening to music on a family road trip to Esperance. I kept thinking of Michael, about the music he loved, and about the huge impact he had on my life, and that's when the inspiration to write a stage show hit me," said Mr McGuinness.

"We chose to donate money raised from the show to Cancer Council WA not only because of the impact of my late brother's cancer, but also because of my wife Fran, who was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in 2019.

"We feel so grateful for everything Cancer Council WA have helped us with over the last few years, we wanted to give something back."

Fran McGuiness said she was overwhelmed by the support she received by Cancer Council WA during her treatment.

"Staying at Crawford Lodge made such an amazing difference to our lives as it provided us not only with the time out we needed as a couple during my treatment, but also a place where our teenage boys could come to stay as well.

"In addition to staying at Crawford Lodge during my treatment in Perth, I was able to access support services at Dot's Place Bunbury, including their wig service. I found the staff there always so supportive.

"As a former long distance runner and someone used to being very active, I found attending Life Now's exercise and yoga classes at Dot's Place really beneficial for my recovery and wellbeing.

"I also had access to counselling, reiki, and attended the Look Good Feel Better workshop at the Cancer Council WA centre in Busselton," Ms McGuinness said.

Our Community Engagement Manager, Simmone Sharp said she was delighted with Alistair and Fran McGuinness' donation and that they had benefited from Cancer Council WA's support services.

"It's wonderful to see the many thoughtful and creative ways people find to raise funds to support Cancer Council WA," Ms Sharp said.

"It's only because of fundraisers like Alistair and Fran and the generosity of the community that we are able to continue to do what we do."

In addition to donating over $500 from his show, Alistair has donated money to Cancer Council WA from the sale of his new travel book, A Taste of Australia: Bite-sized Travels Across a Sunburned Country, in which a chapter is dedicated to Fran's cancer journey.

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