Clocks donated to Albury-Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre in lasting memory of Colin Mitchell

COL'S CLOCKS: Donna Mitchell and nurse Tamara Quigley with the clocks that have been donated to the cancer centre. Picture: MARK JESSER
COL'S CLOCKS: Donna Mitchell and nurse Tamara Quigley with the clocks that have been donated to the cancer centre. Picture: MARK JESSER

Donna Mitchell had to muster up all her courage to walk back through the doors of the Albury-Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre.

But she knew she had to do it for her late husband Col, who had one last request before he died.

Col lost his fight against cancer on January 7, 2017 but thanks to the efforts of his widow and good mate Danny Phegan a timeless legacy has been left in his name.

Even in his final days, the Springhurst farmer rallied to raise $1300 to put a clock in every room at the new cancer centre.

And last Friday, September 8, that wish was fulfilled when Donna and Danny delivered 35 clocks to be placed in patient rooms and waiting areas.

They will carry the Campfires Against Cancer logo as a legacy to inspire others to “take up the fight”, Danny said.

Donna said Col had been determined to do something that would make a difference to the lives of patients.

“It was a simple thing but we noticed it was a hassle not having a clock in the rooms,” she said.

“Because it’s a relatively new building, it’s probably not something you think of until you are in there passing the time.

“Col always wanted to make things better for people and he knew this would make a difference to patients staying there.”

The cause had long been close to Col’s heart, with his mum, dad, nan and countless friends battling cancer before it claimed his own life.

In 2002 Col joined Danny for his marathon Campfires Against Cancer horse ride from Darwin to Tasmania, which raised more than $500,000 for cancer research.

In a moving eulogy at his funeral earlier in the year, Danny paid tribute to the down-to-earth character of one of his lifelong mates.

He said the school of life – and a few hard knocks – had given Col an infinite capacity for seeing the best in people.

Selfless to the end, his mates would remember him as a “strong loyal friend”, according to Danny.

“Col always gave his best to everybody and he gave everybody more than one chance to be their best,” he said.