Swearing off the grog for Dry July and cancer
AS if life hasn't been sobering enough for cancer survivor Julie Strange, this month the wine buff has sworn off the grog.
The bubbly Tugun resident, who most nights for the last 20 years has enjoyed a glass of white wine or four, is taking part in Dry July to raise money for Tweed Hospital's oncology unit.
It's a facility she is only too familiar with after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.
"They're pretty much my second family," Julie says.
"They know that I enjoy my wine and that it will be a challenge for me.
The 47-year-old endured 12 punishing chemo treatments, 30 hits of radiation and a double mastectomy.
"That first glass is relaxing. It truly takes you to that happy place so you forget about what happened throughout the day."
And there's been a lot of rough days for Julie over the last five years.
The now 47-year-old endured 12 punishing chemo treatments, 30 hits of radiation and a double mastectomy.
She was given the all clear from cancer two years ago but still regularly visits Tweed Hospital as part of her participation in a drug trial.
Julie will soon undergo a breast reconstruction which she hopes will mark the turning point in this challenging phase of her life.
"When you look in the mirror it's a reminder. I think it will be like closure for me," she says.
With one text message to friends, she has already exceeded her original $1000 fundraising goal and is now aiming for $3000.
Sue Brooks, the nursing unit manager of the oncology department, said funds raised by Julie would go towards specialist patient chairs valued at $65,000 each.
A few days into Dry July, an annual fundraising event for adults living with cancer that sees participants sponsored to give up booze for the month, and Julie is surprised at how little she's missing her favourite beverage.
She's switched to green tea and soda water with lime instead.
If you'd like to sponsor Julie, visit au.dryjuly.com and type in her name.