In 2012 I decided to participate in Dry July, a month long charity event that sees participants go a month without alcohol! Friends, family and workmates can sponsor you not to drink, and the proceeds go to help adult cancer patients at a local hospital. In my case this was $500.00 to the Canberra Hospital for my efforts going off the drink. (And it really was an effort: the first day I nearly ordered an Irish coffee, and don’t even get me started on ‘The Rum Ball Incident.’
I don’t know if it’s irony, or co-incidence, or some kind of karmic destiny, but on August 31, 2012, exactly a month after Dry July was over, Dad was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma in his liver, skin and brain. It was inoperable and largely untreatable. In February of this year, Dad was admitted to Canberra Hospital and died on February 13th. He was an adult cancer patient at the Canberra Hospital. My $500.00, completely by chance, contributed directly to my family’s life.
So this year I am again participating in Dry July, with renewed inspiration and a real sense of purpose. Dad was in a bed in the renal ward because the oncology ward didn’t have enough beds. If my tiny sacrifice could go even the smallest way to helping another family like mine in the future, I would be so happy. If it meant I could help, I would never drink again.
This is Julia, being grown up.