IF there is one person who understands better than most what little Pippa Rea is suffering and the impact it is having on her friends and family, it is artist John Davis.
Not only has he survived two different types of cancer, he lost his partner Perolee to the disease in May last year.
“It’s silly, isn’t it?” Mr Davis said. “Other people just have hobbies.”
Mr Davis, 59, has donated a painting to add to the $40,000 worth of goods and services donated by the south-west community to a fund-raising night at the Warrnambool Golf Club this Saturday for Pippa, 9, a pupil at St Joseph’s Primary School in Warrnambool.
Pippa is fighting her own battle after being diagnosed with a brain tumour and friends have set up a fund called Providing For Pippa to help her through.
Mr Davis, of the 180 Miles By Bike gallery on the Princes Highway at Port Fairy, said being diagnosed with cancer was like being on a runaway freight train.
“Sometimes the train can be stopped and we can get off much relieved, sometimes it carries our loved ones away,” he said.
“One thing is certain and that is we need as many travellers on the train as we can pack in.”
Mr Davis is not alone in taking Pippa’s story to heart, with several local artists donating items for auction, including work by silversmith Lucinda Newton of Port Fairy’s Luone, glass sculptor Robert Gatt, painter Tom Pendergast, fabric artist Megan Nicholson and jeweller Karen McKenzie, who has created a series of pendants especially for the evening.
Big ticket items include a table for 10 at an official AFL function during the first finals week; three tickets to the One Direction concert in Melbourne in October; and a double pass to the Port Fairy Folk Festival.
Accommodation packages, romantic getaways and family holidays will go under the hammer. A luxury package for two at the Grand Hyatt in Melbourne is included.
There’s also a great selection of sporting items including signed jumpers from Geelong, Collingwood, Brisbane Lions and the Sydney Swans. The evening will feature live music and finger food supper by Wytons Catering.
Everyone is welcome and tickets are available at St Joseph’s Primary School in Botanic Road, Mix Ladies Fashion in Liebig Street, The Bowl in Timor Street and Leskes Jewellers in Bank Street, Port Fairy.