LESS than a week after her wedding, fashion designer Lisa Gorman was told her father had been diagnosed with leukaemia.
It led to a flurry of panic and an understandable tendency to assume the worst, but it also triggered a fund-raising drive that raised $20,000 in just four days.
Six years later, her father Brian is well and manages his blood cancer with treatment and by keeping fit.
It’s far from a blessing but Ms Gorman is still upbeat and thankful.
The former Emmanuel College student rarely visits Warrnambool these days — her parents mostly travel to see her in Melbourne where she lives.
That’s because Ms Gorman runs a very successful clothing brand, Gorman, which opened its 20th store last week.
Since switching from nursing 14 years ago, Ms Gorman now has storefronts on fashion strongholds like Brunswick and Chapel streets in Melbourne. Last week she also opened another store on Liebig Street, albeit a temporary one, and in a four-day clearance sale made more than $20,000 — every cent of it going to the Leukaemia Foundation and the Peter MacCallum centre.
In past years the designer has brought excess stock back to Warrnambool for an annual sale, but her father’s diagnosis meant the event took on a special purpose this year.
“That gave us a good reason to select leukaemia research as our cause,” she said.
Her father, who is also the former director of nursing at Lyndoch has since watched his daughter raise $40,000 during the past two years to find a cure.
“We’re lucky that the treatment that he’s had so far has been positive. There’s still lots of doctors visits but he’s still a fit man. He’s quite proud that we can bring something back and give to the community.”