Market to raise funds for ovarian cancer, in memory of Ballarat woman

IT all started over a cup of coffee. 

 Ballarat mum Maggie Quinn and her friend Dot Cherry are holding a craft market in memory of Ms Blankey’s daughter Lou, who died of ovarian cancer last year. PICTURE: JEREMY BANNISTER

Ballarat mum Maggie Quinn and her friend Dot Cherry are holding a craft market in memory of Ms Blankey’s daughter Lou, who died of ovarian cancer last year. PICTURE: JEREMY BANNISTER

Before Ballarat residents Dot Cherry and Maggie Blankey knew it, Ms Cherry’s house was cluttered by a endless flood of donated books, toys and clothing which will be used to raise money at a market being held for ovarian cancer research.

It is a cause close to the heart of Ms Blankey, who lost her daughter Lou, 33, suddenly to the disease in May last year.

Lou had been admitted to hospital on May 1 after suffering mild abdominal pain and fatigue.

Twelve days later she passed away. 

“Lou wasY my darling daughter, dearly loved and loving,” Ms Blankey said.

“She was a very ethical girl with informed opinions and she also had this amazing and beautiful empathy for animals.”

After Lou’s death, Ms Blankey established the Giving Gold for Lou, a fund which raises money for ovarian cancer research at the Royal Women’s Hospital. 

About 1400 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Australia each year. Tragically, almost 70 per cent will die.

“There is no way you to come to grips with the death of your child,” Ms Blankey said.

“But this is something we wanted to do not only for Lou but to educate other young women about ovarian cancer and to raise awareness of the often silent signs of the disease.”

Ms Blankey said one of Lou’s endearing qualities was her loyalty to those she loved, so it was fitting that dozens of her friends and family had rallied together to create the market. 

“She was a good and loyal friend,” she said.

“You always counted on her. If you did something wrong she would not condone it, but she would be right there in your corner and she would never desert you. She was a staunch ally to everybody she cared about.”

Giving Gold for Lou has already raised $25,000 since it was established last year, and the two are hoping to raise as much as they can at the market. 

There will be more than 20 stalls selling everything from handcrafts and handmade aprons to woodcraft items and candles.

There will also be live music and a children’s corner that will include arts and crafts, face painting, lucky dips and visits from special guests Peppa Pig, George Pig and Dora the Explorer.

The market will be held on Saturday at the Brown Hill Community Hall, Humffray Street North, Ballarat, from 10am until 4pm. 

For details, visit on.fb.me/1nYjzpl

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