MORE than $4500 has been raised this summer to help fight cancer, thanks to a dedicated couple and plenty of hungry campers.
Sheila and Andrew Downey have been baking cupcakes for the past six years to raise money for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.
In total, they’ve raised more than $57,600.
That’s 23,000 cupcakes.
During summer, from Boxing Day to the end of the Australia Day weekend, they’d made 2000 cupcakes.
“It’s been a bit crazy,” said Sheila, who battled breast cancer almost seven years ago.
“This year we’ve seen exponential growth.
“We meet people who share their stories about themselves or someone they know fighting cancer, so it is about raising awareness just as much as the fundraising.”
Sheila said they met a gentleman recently who was the longest living Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre survivor.
He was diagnosed with cancer at age three. He’s now 56.
“Everyone holds Peter MacCallum in high esteem.”
After baking 23,000 cupcakes, they’ve mastered the art.
“I’m not a cook or a chef, I just got the recipe from my youngest daughter a few years ago, and now here we are,” Sheila said.
“January is our busiest time, and then it quietens down until Mothers’ Day, and Fathers’ Day.
“We also get orders for school celebrations and birthdays.”
Sheila and Andrew are both recently retired teachers.
“I started bringing in cupcakes for the senior kids and they were very supportive because they had been with me when I was teaching and had cancer.”
They promote the cupcakes by posting on their Facebook page ‘Sheila and Andrew’s Cupcakes’.
The couple also walk around campsites promoting the delicious snacks.
“We might have 24 or 36 cupcakes with us, and stacks more in an esky when we run out,” said Andrew.
“There’s salted caramel, passionfruit and a bunch of other flavours.”
The couple, alongside other family members, have also participated in charity walks up to 60km to raise money for cancer research.
“We’ve got to keep up the walking; I keep licking the beaters after cooking,” said Andrew, laughing.
Sheila and Andrew ask for a $3 donation for the cupcakes.
“We do get a lot of repeat people who donate every year,” Sheila said.
“About 95 per cent of the money raised has gone to Peter MacCallum, but we have donated to other cancer organisations.
“We will keep doing it for as long as we can and hopefully make cancer a less scary word.”
You can order cupcakes by sending them a message on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cupcakes4cancer1 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Cupcakes for cancer