In the years since, Samantha has come to terms with the loss of her “best friend”. But the one thing she refuses to accept is that the disease, which is tragically estimated to affect around half of all Australians throughout their lifetime, is permanent.
That is why she has signed up to be an ambassador for the Cancer Council’s Daffodil Day on August 31. Last year, the day raised around $2.5 million that went towards research, cancer prevention and supporting those affected by the disease. This year, Samantha is hoping to help smash that target.
“The goal of the fundraising is to ultimately find a cure,” she says. “There is nothing in the world that I wish for more. There are so many people living with that dark cloud above their head and a cure is the only way to bring them peace.”
While most people know that they can support the cause by purchasing a beautiful bunch of bright yellow daffodils from a Cancer Council stall on the day, there are many other ways you can get involved. Participants are also encouraged to register a fundraiser online and hold events ranging from morning teas to casual dress days in your workplace while asking for a donation.
“Whatever you can do to help, whatever amount you can afford to donate is great,” Samantha says. “Every extra dollar in the kitty is one step closer to finally putting an end to cancer.”
Determined to continue making her mum proud, Samantha now makes an extra effort to live her life to the fullest, just as Jacqueline urged her, even from her hospital bed. It is bittersweet that the moments Samantha knows her mum would have loved best are now tinged with both joy and sorrow.
“I knew that my wedding day would be hard and having a baby [without her here] will be hard,” Samantha explains. “When I have occasions that I want to celebrate, I accept I will feel like an equal measure of sadness too. I always feel her with me, though, and on the big day I wore her wedding ring so [I] felt her presence there.”
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The one thing Samantha is determined to never do is stop making music.
“Spending those last few months with my mum in the hospital, she was always encouraging me to get out and get back in the studio because she knew that was my passion,” she says. “My mum loved to dance, she was always the first one up on the dance floor, so I know she’d be really proud of me now for continuing on.”
The Cancer Council’s Daffodil Day is coming up on Thursday, August 31st. Visit Daffodil Day to register a fundraiser or make a donation.