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By Waratahs Rugby Media Unit
Last Thursday’s match was an evening to remember for 14-year old HSBC Waratahs fan, Gus Larkin.
The Coogee local and Waverley College student enjoyed a very special view of the HSBC Waratahs v Crusaders match as he sat alongside his younger brother and cousin in the players’ dugout.
Gus, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer in 2010, was a special guest of Volvo Car Australia, proud supporters of Cure For Life Foundation, the HSBC Waratahs’ chosen matchday charity.
A current patient of Dr Charlie Teo’s, Gus has undergone surgery several times and as well as other treatments including chemotherapy.
“I found out about it a couple of weeks ago and I was very excited – I couldn’t wait!” he said after the game.
Gus shared his special night with his younger brother Van (seven) and his cousin Otis Rose-Larkin (15).
“My whole family came, including my brother and my cousin, my mum and two or three of my uncles and even my grandma and grandpa.
“One of the favourite parts of the evening was congratulating Israel (Folau) on getting Man of the Match, and also how close the game was in the end and how sitting in the dugout, we got to see all the action.
“We were sitting so close that when my picture came up on the big screen I didn’t even see it because I was watching the action. My mum had to tell me I’d just been on the big screen!
“After the game, five of the players signed my shirt and we wished them all good luck for the season.”
Gus’s mum Maryanne Larkin was full of praise for the life-changing work of the Foundation and its founder, Dr Charlie Teo.
“Everyone came to support the Waratahs and the Cure For Life cause, even some of Gus’s teachers from Waverley College.
“Dr Charlie Teo is Gus’s surgeon. His most recent surgery was in December so it was wonderful that he was able to enjoy this occasion so soon afterwards.
“Dr Teo is an inspiration, not just because he is such an amazing surgeon but for the energy and capacity he has for accelerating the search for a cure for brain cancer. Cure for Life is such a great Foundation to support and we’re so grateful to the Waratahs for giving us this opportunity and for their support”.
Gus’s father Gavin Larkin started R U OK? DAY, a national day of action dedicated to encourage all Australians to ask family, friends and colleagues ‘Are you ok?’ He passed away from lymphoma in September 2011. Gus was diagnosed with the tumour five weeks after Gavin’s diagnosis.
The introduction of match day charity partners is part of the HSBC Waratahs’ Tahs Together community engagement program that also sees players and coaches undertake a program of events and community visits across NSW throughout the season.
Building on the team’s longstanding relationships with a number of charities from across the community, the partnerships are designed to raise awareness of the charities and their relationship with Waratahs Rugby, as well as providing support and fundraising opportunities for those chosen charity partners.
Championed by Player Ambassadors, each charity will receive a player visit in the lead up to match day as well as the opportunity to generate revenue through match day ticket sales, game day collections, official signed merchandise, raffles and corporate hospitality.
A full list of all the HSBC Waratahs match day charity partners is available from the Chosen Charities section on www.waratahs.com.au
Notes to editor:
Founded by neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo, the Cure For Life Foundation aims to break down the barriers that are blocking progress and enable a cure for brain cancer to be found within 10 years. Without increased funding, we can expect that a cure will be 50 years away, will cost $50 billion dollars and that brain cancer will claim another 3 million lives. Cure For Life Foundation hopes that the community will help lead the change and give to research to accelerate a cure for brain cancer now. Brain cancer is the biggest cancer killer of Australians under thirty nine, only a quarter of Australians diagnosed with brain cancer live past two years. Cure For Life has raised over $13 million for brain cancer research since 2003 and hopes to raise another $200k with the 2012 Walk4Life event. Further information on the Foundation is available from www.cureforlife.org.au
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The NSW Waratahs will run out with a similar team that defeated the Stormers 32-20 last weekend in South Africa for this Saturday's round 11 match against the Cheetahs at Allianz Stadium.
NSW Waratahs Assistant Coach, Cam Blades sat down following the NSW Waratahs' round ten win over the Stormers to talk about what he thought of the performance in South Africa, the importance of combinations and what they’re working in on preparation for the Cheetahs this Saturday night at Allianz Stadium.