This Sunday, 17 November 2019 at 1pm, Village Cinemas Southland Melbourne will premier Goodnight Sweetheart – The Cassy Morris Story, a film honouring the life of a Victorian mum who lost her battle with lung cancer, the number one cancer killer in Australia.
Titled after a song with a long family history, and one the mum-of-three sang to her girls as a lullaby every night before bed, Goodnight Sweetheart is a tribute to Cassy Morris, who passed away in June last year, exactly one year from when she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer.
The premier coincides with what would have been Cassy’s birthday week, and with Lung Cancer Awareness Month.
Cassy’s brother Wayne Declase made the film to fulfil his dying sister’s wish, and to shine a light on the desperate need for more lung cancer research and support.
“The film is a testament to Cassy and the people who loved her. It’s for her daughters, in particular for Harper the youngest. We hope she can watch this in the future and retain precious memories as she grows older,” Mr Declase said.
“It’s important to raise awareness for people to understand that anyone can get lung cancer. I want Cassy’s story to reach every-day Australians, and to help eradicate the stigma that is attached to lung cancer – it blocks investment into much needed research and support services.”
Mr Declase will donate all film proceeds to Lung Foundation Australia’s Shine a Light on Lung Cancer initiative which raises funds for lung cancer research and support services.
While tickets for the film screening have already sold out, Mr Declase hopes people will read about Cassy’s story online and make a donation in her memory to the Shine a Light on Lung Cancer campaign.
By the time Cassy was diagnosed the cancer had spread to her lungs, lymph nodes, pelvis, ribs, shoulder blades, spine and liver. Fearless and feisty at heart, wife to a loving husband, Cassy was in shock. For someone who led a clean and healthy lifestyle, who had three young daughters to look after, and a life to celebrate, to be diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer with no symptoms, she was in disbelief.
Mr Declase notes that “once Cassy had come to terms with her diagnosis, she went up a gear.”
“She was determined to kick the cancer. She never complained through her journey. She empowered her family, and friends throughout the whole process. We wouldn’t expect anything less from Cassy.”
Strong, stubborn, and defiant as Cassy described herself, she hoped for the best, and fought until the end.
Approximately 12,500 Australians will be diagnosed with lung cancer each year, and 25 people lose a loved one to this devastating disease each day.
“People like Cassy’s brother and husband are the passionate advocates who are carrying the torch to help raise funds and provide hope for a brighter future,” Lung Foundation Australia CEO Mark Brooke said.
“Lung cancer has the lowest 5-year survival rate of the five most commonly diagnosed cancers – just 17% compared to 91% for breast and 95% for prostate. Despite some recent advancements in treatment, more research is desperately needed to improve outcomes for those diagnosed. We need to better support a community which is simply asking for more time.
“To honour your sister’s legacy in this way is a selfless and commendable act.
“I look forward to seeing the film and to celebrating Cassy’s life and birthday on the evening. I hope that the community will be inspired by Cassy’s story and as determined as we are to support and provide hope for anyone living with lung cancer.”
The film will air this Sunday, 17 November 2019, at 1:00pm at Village Cinemas Southland. To donate toward lung cancer research and support, visit: https://lungfoundation.grassrootz.com/shine-a-light-on-lung-cancer/donate
For media enquiries please contact:
Mersija Mujic, Media and Communications
07 3251 3654 or 0411 112 194
Danielle Aami, Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications
07 3251 3655 or 0421 157 860
Lung Cancer in Australia
- Lung cancer affects many Australians and is the leading cause of cancer death in the country (responsible for 18.9% of all cancer deaths). It is the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia.
- In 2018, approximately 12,741 Australians were diagnosed with lung cancer. That’s almost 35 people a day.
- This year alone, 9,198 will die from the disease.
- Compared to other common cancers, far fewer people with lung cancer are diagnosed early and as cancer progression increases, so too does the cost of treatment.
- 1 in 3 women and 1 in 10 men diagnosed with lung cancer have no history of smoking.
- More than a third of Australians (35%) consider those living with lung cancer to be their own worst enemy who have only themselves to blame.
- Australians with lung cancer experience stigma in society, including from their communities, health providers, employers and even themselves. Approximately 30% of people living with lung cancer blame themselves for the diagnosis.
Lung Foundation Australia (2018) Making Lung Cancer A Fair Fight: A Blueprint for Reform
Available at: https://lungfoundation.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Information-paper-Making-Lung-Cancer-A-Fair-Fight-A-Blueprint-for-Reform-Oct2018.pdf Last
accessed: October 2019.
Lung Foundation Australia (2019) Lung Cancer National Report Card: https://lungfoundation.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/Information-paper_Blue-print-scorecard.pdf
About Lung Foundation Australia & Lung Cancer Awareness Month
Lung Foundation Australia is the only charity and leading peak body of its kind in Australia that delivers life-changing research and programs to support and provide hope to people of all ages with a lung disease, and their families, at every stage of their journey. Find out more https://lungfoundation.com.au/
To mark Lung Cancer Awareness Month this November, Lung Foundation Australia is shining a light on the disparity in care, research and support provided to people diagnosed with our nation’s biggest cancer killer. We’re calling for change by releasing a short film capturing the heart-breaking reality of being diagnosed with lung cancer, as well as a national Lung Cancer Scorecard exposing the true disparity in lung cancer care and the reforms needed. Find out more: https://shinealight.lungfoundation.com.au/media-kit/