Cancer fight on the table

CANCER FIGHT: Tayla O'Brien will be hosting The Longest Table fundraiser at Nalou Kitchen this Saturday to show support for the Hospital Research Foundation after finding inspiration from her recent experiences with them, as they assisted her mother who was previously diagnosed with cancer through the Under Our Roof branch.

By Tyler Redway

THE Hospital Research Foundation’s fundraiser, The Longest Table, has been picked up by a local woman who want to participate in the charity’s work after having a positive experience of her own.

Tayla O’Brien will be hosting the event at Nalou Kitchen in Mount Gambier, which includes a three course sit-down event with an added raffle and entertainment.

Ms O’Brien mentioned that she had never done something like this before, let alone hear of the charity before this year’s January.

“My mum was diagnosed with cancer in January and I was searching for her to stay somewhere in Adelaide when I stumbled across this place called Under Our Roof,” Ms O’Brien said.

“Under Our Roof is a division of the Hospital Research Foundation and basically what it is is four houses that people can stay at from regional places when they are receiving treatment in Adelaide for cancer.”

Ms O’Brien said her mother then contacted the organisation, where she was allowed five weeks to stay at one of the houses for under $100 while she was undergoing her cancer treatment in Adelaide.

She also said that the main reason for establishing this fundraiser was because she wondered how many other people like her mother and herself were going without knowing that a service such as Under Our Roof existed and wanted to spread the word.

“The minute we found out about that, we signed on to be donors of the charity,” Ms O’Brien said.

“They called me one day and asked if I had heard of the fundraiser and if I would be interested in doing it.

“I thought I would have a couple of friends over at my house and raise a hundred bucks then call it a day.”

After speaking with one of her friends, who happens to own Nalou Kitchen, they suggested to Ms O’Brien that she should set up a fundraiser at the restaurant instead.

The fundraiser has now raised a total of over $12,000, with an original goal which seemed to keep constantly changing with the pace of donations.

“We were hoping to raise $2000, then $5000 and now we’re hoping to raise $15,000,” Ms O’Brien added.

“If it all comes to fruition then we would like to do this every year.

“Hopefully we can find a bigger venue next year and have more people come on board.”

Ms O’Brien said that the additional raffle they will hold had already managed to receive 40 different contributions from local businesses, with 60 people already expected to attend the event.

“The prize pool is over $2700 at the moment which just blows me away how generous all the local businesses have been,“ she said.

The fundraiser will be held on Saturday August 6 at Nalou Kitchen starting at 5pm with a cost of $85 per person.