The Brazier Boys

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Angus, Harrison, Thomas and Hugo Brazier tragically lost their dad to Melanoma in 2016. The boys, with the help of their mum Kathryn, have since pooled their talents and through sheer hard work, determination and ground-breaking ideas have raised a substantial amount of money for Melanoma research. But – they’re not done yet! Find out what the Brazier team has planned for Melanoma March …

Hi guys. Can you each briefly introduce yourselves, so our readers can get to know you? 

We are Angus (14 years), Harrison (12 years) and Thomas and Hugo (nine years).

Your family has had a lot of experience with Melanoma and the impact this condition can cause. Please tell us a bit about your dad, and his experience with disease …

Hugo: My dad was Mark Brazier.

Thomas: He was 42 years old.

Harrison: He was first diagnosed in September 2015.

Angus: Melanoma affected Dad, with him sleeping a lot and not being able to do things with us. He would forget a lot of things – he just wasn’t Dad.

What are some of the favourite memories you shared with your dad?

Angus: Spending time together on Hamilton Island on our last family holiday.

Harrison: Building things together.

Thomas: Just being able to see him every day and helping him.

Hugo: Going hunting, and the Hamilton Island family holiday.

Your dad sadly passed away on May 30, 2016, and most of us could all only imagine how this impacted your family. Since then, you’ve been very active in raising both funds for and awareness of Melanoma research. How did the idea for “Five Cent Friday” in 2017 come about … and how much money did you raise from this event? 

Harrison: It was my idea to do Five Cent Friday. I got the idea from “Love your Sister”, when they raised so much money and thought we could do this – and Mum said, “Why not!” 

We thought that we would only raise $500, but we blew this out of the park and ended up raising over $25,000 in a month.  

I also lost a bet on the amount we would raise and had to give up a box of chocolates!

There are a lot of events around the nation planned for “Melanoma March”. What do you guys have planned for the month? 

Angus: We wanted to walk from Guyra to Armidale, which Mum tried to get permission to do, but were told we couldn’t. So, we are now going to walk from the Guyra Showground to Deano’s Trout Farm at Black Mountain.

Harrison: We are hoping to do this on the 9th March.

Hugo: Some of our friends from school and football are going to walk with us. We have put some jars in shops for people to put five cents in as well.

Thomas: Our school is also going to help with some fundraising and through giving us the money for Five Cent Friday. The Guyra Show held a Cattle Calcutta for us too.

How can FOCUS readers help you with Melanoma March?

Angus: People will be able to walk with us, registering and paying a small registration fee to do this.

Harrison: Mum is also trying to organise a lunch at Deano’s for people who don’t want to walk, using some local food for them to eat.

Thomas: Maybe volunteer to help Mum on the day!

Hugo: Donate money in the jars that we have put out.

What’s something you’ve all learned about Melanoma that you’d like to share with us?

Angus: You should be very aware that it is very dangerous and get your skin checked at least once a year.

Harrison: It is a dangerous disease.

Thomas: That you should wear sunscreen and hats outside.

Hugo: Sunburn is really bad.

If you could say anything to your dad right now, what would it be?

Angus: Hope you’re proud of me.

Harrison: Love you.

Thomas: Love you, and wish you were here today.

Hugo: Can we go hunting? Miss you.

Where can we find out more about Melanoma research in general, and also your fundraising efforts?

Angus: The Melanoma Institute Australia: https://www.melanoma.org.au/

Mum has also created a Facebook page called Five Cent Friday: www.facebook.com/fivecentfriday/

Thanks boys – you are all absolute champions.

Keep up to date with what’s happening with the boys’ planned March for Melanoma through the Five Cent Friday Facebook page.

Registration for the march can be completed online at: https://guyra.melanomamarch.org.au/ or at the event on the day (cash only). Note: the long lunch at Deano’s Trout Farm is an additional cost and requires separate booking – refer to the Five Cent Friday Facebook page for details.

Some info from The Melanoma Institute of Australia

Melanoma is Australia’s national cancer –

  • Australia and New Zealand have the highest melanoma rates in the world, with the Queensland incidence rate of 71 cases per 100,000 people (for the years 2009 – 2013), vastly exceeding rates in all other jurisdictions nationally and internationally.
  • More than 12,700 cases of melanoma were reported in 2013 in Australia.
  • 48,937 were living with melanoma (at the end of 2010).
  • Melanoma rates doubled in the 20 years from 1986 – 2006 and are still on the rise.
  • In Australia, 1 in 14 men and 1 in 24 women will be diagnosed with melanoma sometime in their life. 

Research is making a difference –

  • Over the past five years, the use of surgery plus additional treatments have significantly extended life expectancy in people with advanced disease (where the melanoma has spread to other organs). These treatments include targeted therapies (modifying the actions of specific genes) and immunotherapies (modifying the actions of the immune system). Radiotherapy can also reduce recurrence rates.
  • In a recent MIA-led trial, researchers have made a major breakthrough by tripling the life expectancy for some advanced melanoma patients. However, many others are not responding to new treatments and further research is vital.

Interview: Jo Robinson.

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