2021 Babinda NAIDOC Celebration
On Friday, September 10, the town of Babinda came together to ack
Audrey’s Angels of Hope is a charitable organisation, supporting, encouraging, and assisting over 60 cancer patients and their families in and around the Ingham region.
This incredible organisation is led by the extraordinary, Gracie Cooper. Not only is this woman and the entire organisation shining a light on the lives of cancer patients and their families through their work, they also continually go above and beyond the call of duty to offer acts of kindness to individual cancer patients, whilst inspiring strength and positivity through their actions.
Gracie Cooper is a wife, a mother of four daughters, a sister, a grandmother to 18 grandchildren, a great-grandmother to four great-grandchildren, and, in recent years, has also been the ‘angel’ who has been shining her light through Audrey’s Angels of Hope since it was established in 2013.
Gracie established Audrey’s Angels of Hope after battling breast cancer herself and experiencing firsthand the emotional and physical toll that this terrible disease can have, not only on the patients themselves but also their families and friends.
Gracie was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy in 2007 and, in 2015, she was told that she was a ‘walking time bomb’, facing another mastectomy and a grim outlook. However, Gracie’s determination and positive outlook gave and her and her family the strength to win the battle, overcoming their fears and defying the medical diagnoses.
A few years before her second battle with cancer, Gracie’s sister, Audrey, fell victim to stomach cancer. Gracie was by Audrey’s side every step of the way through her battle. Audrey sadly lost her long and difficult battle to cancer in 2012.
Gracie described Audrey as “one of a kind, with a light that shone bright,” and she became the ultimate inspiration for Gracie to begin her work as part of Audrey’s Angels of Hope.
It was after this tragic event that Gracie came to the overwhelming conclusion that more had to be done to protect the mental wellbeing of cancer patients. While donations to cancer research support the long-term goal of finding a cure for cancer, Gracie knew that there are also countless sick and frightened people who require emotional support through their individual battles.
“Cancer patients and even their friends and families need a shoulder to cry on, a coffee to distract them from their daily struggles, help with simple housework jobs, a hand filling out the never-ending paperwork and sometimes they simply need someone with whom to chat and to answer their questions,” Gracie said.
“It was a little push from my daughters and niece that helped me branch out to make my dream to help others who were facing cancer come true. It was in 2013 that Audrey’s Angels of Hope was born and since then we have established a powerful group of people who are able to provide support to individuals and families.”
“We assist cancer patients and their families financially and help out with everyday chores, as well as other activities that we see as essential, like sending them away for a stress-free weekend, with all expenses covered by us. Sometimes a weekend away from reality can be the very best thing!” Gracie said.
“While we provide as much financial and physical help as possible, a large part of what we do is providing emotional support to cancer patients and their families. I contact around 4-6 cancer friends through Facebook on a nightly basis, making them laugh, listening to their worries, answering their questions, or simply providing a small distraction from their illness.”
“If I, or any of the team at Audrey’s Angels of Hope can make someone smile while they are battling this terrible illness, I feel as though we have made a small difference, and that is what we aim to do,” Gracie said.
Gracie and the team at Audrey’s Angels of Hope are a group of incredible and generous individuals, working to make a difference in the lives of others. They give so much of themselves to bring a little ray of sunshine into cancer sufferers lives, making them feel loved and cared for.
They give emotional and practical support, hold raffles, afternoon teas, organise patient gatherings, send patients on holidays, and raise funds that are distributed to those battling cancer. If you would like to find out more about this incredible group or provide support, please visit their Facebook group called, Audrey’s Angels of Hope.
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