THIRTEEN years ago, Michelle Hensel didn't know anyone who had cancer.
Now, it has played such a big role in her life she joined the board of the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre Trust Fund.
Her voice shook a little, as she stood in the foyer of the new facility and spoke of how it claimed the life of her father, Barry Godde, and her son, Braedon, who was just 22.
Breast cancer also struck her personally.
It is because of this, she urged everyone to get involved with the inaugural Sunshine Week, which raises money to keep the centre going.
“Maybe some people have been that lucky that cancer hasn’t touched them, but unfortunately over their life it will – if not personally it will through family and friends,” Mrs Hensel said.
“We are so lucky to have this facility, but it will need continued support, so we just ask everyone to get involved.”
Mrs Hensel said the cancer centre would mean less disruptions for patients and their families.
She said it was the little things, like dropping someone at treatment or even the natural lighting inside, which made all the difference.
To ensure the centre remains up-to-date, Sunshine Week will run from September 11 to 16.
Trust volunteer Colleen Gorman said it was an “amazing thing” to invest time in.
“I think it's great knowing you're helping the community,” she said.
“I've lost family members to cancer and this facility is incredible, everyone should dig deep.”
Trust fundraising, marketing and events manager Jane Evans said she wanted it to be easy for the community to get involved.
“We are encouraging business sporting groups, community groups and schools to shake off the winter blues, get out in the sunshine and have a morning tea,” she said.
“Bring a plate to share and a gold coin – it’s really easy to do.”
A family fun day filled with fireworks, arts and crafts, jumping castles, pony rides and Flying Fruit Fly Circus workshops will run from 2.30pm to 6pm at the Kinross Woolshed Hotel on Sunday.
Live entertainment will include Powderfinger's Darren Middleton, Danny Phegan and The Longreach Band and Steve Bowen.
A charity golf day will also run on September 16.
Visit sunshineweek.org.au for more information.
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