Ryan Fritz

Cancer Council Victoria is encouraging Daylesford residents to take part in this year’s Dry July to support Victorians affected by cancer.

Alcohol consumption is associated with increased risk of developing head and neck cancer, oesophageal cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer and colorectal cancer. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed.

On average, 122 Hepburn Shire residents are diagnosed with cancer each year, and 36,000 people are diagnosed across Victoria.

By giving up alcohol for a whole month during July and by donating to the Cancer Council, people can help the Council to continue its life-saving research, prevention, advocacy and support programs. Since 2008, a quarter of a million Australians have rallied around Dry July, raising over $60 million.

Claire Louise Spencer, a 43-year-old social media manager and mother-of-one, from Newlyn North, was diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2019. Claire’s journey through her cancer diagnosis and treatment was a challenge.

Claire said the Cancer Council helped her immensely during her early stages of diagnosis when she joined the Council’s online community.

“When I had the exploratory surgery, I talked to some people about cervical cancer but they weren’t particularly helpful conversations. I got onto Cancer Council Victoria’s website initially just to find out what endometrial and cervical cancer was,” said Claire.

“I also joined their online forum and wrote about my experiences. Something about that post triggered a lot of conversation. It was so incredibly important in my ability to cope because I didn’t know anyone who was right in the thick of it. “I used those online tools for the first six or so months, which helped me immensely. There are still people connecting through that thread now.”

Claire said it was a no-brainer to raise as much-funds as possible for the cancer organisation.

“There really isn’t anyone out there who hasn’t been touched by cancer. It’s nice to know that the funds raised will be going to an organisation that has made such a personal impact on me. The Cancer Council is extremely beneficial for all Victorians affected by cancer,” said Claire. “I’m going to keep raising funds for the Cancer Council again, and again, and again.”

You can donate to Claire’s Dry July campaign here: http://www.dryjuly.com/users/claire-spencer

For more information on Dry July or to sign-up, visit: www.dryjuly.com.

For more information and support, please visit cancervic.org.au or call the Cancer Council on 13 11 20.