Sharron Markovic has been a long-time CIKA supporter whose efforts have helped to raise tens of thousands of dollars in aid of the fight against childhood cancer. During the 2013 CIKA ball, she was presented with the award of CIKA CHAMPION in recognition of her dedication. Here is her story.
My involvement with CIKA started around fourteen years ago thanks to Julie and Sam Casilli who were looking for people to fill their table at the annual ball. My husband John and I went along and I had a really great time. I took with me family and friends, including Ruth and Peter Murray, and since then the ball has become the highlight of the year. I have just been to my thirteenth.
I have been married to John for almost twenty five years and we have three sons: Aaron who is twenty four, Matthew, twenty one, and James, sixteen. We have not been touched personally by childhood cancer, and John and I are fortunate to have been blessed with three healthy children. Unfortunately, however, my cousin lost her four year old son to a solid tumour cancer. My own good fortune is one of the reasons why I am passionate about the cause.
My nursing background does help in understanding these things better. The desire to help by curing people is all part of that. During my training placement at the Royal Children’s Hospital, although dealing mainly with tonsils, I did some shifts on the oncology ward where Mary Mcgowen was charge nurse, and I felt privileged to be a part of the children’s and families’ battles.
It was probably around eight or nine years ago that I started donating hampers of knitted baby goods for silent auctions’ prizes and, from there, it led into helping at the hospital stalls Then it just went BANG! Our market night is a great success but it is also a lot of work with a great deal of time spent in gathering donations of goods for sale. I also undertake a lot of wrapping for CIKA’s silent auctions.
Ruth Murray and I spend days on little shopping trips finding goodies we can sell on the stall, as well as hours packaging, wrapping, baking, and getting things organised. I have also spent many hours knitting and sewing, bootees, jumpers; you name it. I also roped my Mum, my auntie and various friends into knitting and making craft items for us.
Sometimes I don’t know where I find the time, but busy people always get things done. As well as being heavily involved with CIKA, I am secretary of my softball club, a committee I have been on for thirteen years, and this takes up a lot of my time. I play every week, and make sure everything is set so that everyone else can play too. In addition to this, I have a house hold to run, and, oh, I also have a paid job, one which I usually have to go to all night and often after being on the hospital stall all day, but life goes on and everything gets done.
I enjoy doing what I do and I am passionate about finding better treatments and, ultimately, a cure, for childhood cancer. My family has been lucky not to need them, but if we do in the future, I can be satisfied and proud knowing that, in my own small way, I have contributed to a better outcome for kids and their families.