Everyday Mums, Extraordinary Lives

Published on 10 May 2018 by Castle Towers

Meet three local women balancing motherhood, work and a powerful desire to make a difference in the Hills Shire community. 

With the annual Hills Relay For Life Cancer Council fundraiser coming up on 19 May, we decided to meet with avid relay participants Bev Jordan, Mel Sedger and Leonie Schouten – everyday mums leading extraordinary lives.

Since launching in 2000, the 24-hour team relay at Castle Hill Showground has grown into one of the biggest Relay for Life events in Australia. Each year, the relay gives the local community a chance to make a tangible difference to the fight against cancer as well as show their support, share stories, forge new friendships and commemorate loved ones lost to the devastating disease.

In the first clip of our video series, we meet the three women as they prepare for this year’s event while juggling their different roles as working women, community leaders and mums. Over the coming weeks, we will find out more about the impact of this community event and how each of these inspiring women has turned personal challenges into positive action.

Meet three local women balancing motherhood, work and a powerful desire to make a difference in the Hills Shire community.

Find out more

 Show your support by getting your Mother’s Day gifts wrapped by Hills Relay For Life volunteers at Castle Towers from 10th-12th May.

More about our everyday mums living extraordinary lives

The Advocate: Bev Jordan is a mother, journalist, volunteer and Hills resident

Bev has been involved in organising the Hills Relay for Life for many years and leads a relay team of family and friends that was started by her late husband David when, in 2007, he was diagnosed with bowel cancer. She says her aim is to change the cancer story for others in the Hills District and will travel overseas later this year to walk with and learn from fellow relayers in New York. Bev says: “Being connected is so important in this day and age, and volunteering is a great way to be connected with your community, to help others, and ultimately improve yourself.”

Ordinary Mums, Extraordinary Lives

The Advocate: Bev Jordan

The Carer: Mel Sedger is a mother, policewoman and Hills resident

Mel has been a strong supporter of the Hills Relay for Life since caring for her infant son Joel through his treatment for a form of cancer known as neuroblastoma. She says: “When Joel made it to five years cancer-free I felt overjoyed but also a sense of guilt that others are not so lucky. We had so much support through our cancer journey, I feel strongly that [participating in the relay each year] is the right thing to do, and it’s a great day for us to spend together as a family.”

Ordinary Mums, Extraordinary Lives

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The Survivor: Leonie Schouten is a mother, bookkeeper and West Pennant Hill resident

Leonie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 when, she says, she “didn’t have time to get sick”. She recalls: “When I started radiotherapy I was working three days a week, serving on three committees at my sons’ primary school, plus the soccer club, and putting on large fundraisers.” After a period of good health, her cancer returned in 2014. Struggling to cope with the associated fatigue, Leonie says a Hills Relay for Life-funded health and fitness program gave her back the sense of control that she needed. She now walks the Survivor Lap of the relay.

Ordinary Mums, Extraordinary Lives

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Castle Towers is a proud partner of the 2018 Hills Relay for Life on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th May, at the Castle Hill Showground.