Changing Communities. Changing Lives.
Volunteers and supporters are the lifeblood of Lung Foundation Australia. Whether it be taking part in committees or campaigns, sharing our messages, fundraising or attending events, or providing expert advice and information, it all makes a real and positive difference.
Last year alone, we were honoured to have 320 clinical and research volunteers and over 670 people living with a lung disease or lung cancer commit their valuable time and skill to help us provide hope to those who need it most.
This National Volunteer Week, 18-24 May, we’re pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 Lung Foundation Australia Volunteer of the Year Award.
Carolyn Riordan – wife, mother of four and a Japanese language high school teacher – was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer the week of Mother’s Day in 2018. Since joining our community, Carolyn and her family have played an integral role in helping us advocate for better access to treatment, care and support for all Australians impacted by lung disease and lung cancer. She has spoken at national conferences, represented the organisation in consumer research and is also a member of our Lung Cancer Consumer Committee. Last year, Carolyn walked the 1,000km Bibbulmun Track, raising over $20,000 to support life-changing research.
“When I heard the four words that would change my life forever, I felt shocked, powerless, angry and in denial, but also hopeful,” Carolyn said.
“Despite the completely overwhelming nature of a diagnosis like this, if one had to pick a time to be diagnosed with lung cancer, it would be now. Lung cancer is no longer considered untreatable. There are viable treatment options which allow you to have a good quality of life, providing real hope of treating it like any other chronic disease.”
“Lung Foundation Australia are the voice for people with lung conditions and in my case lung cancer. They provide so much information and support. They also fund research. They are the ones changing how lung cancer is thought about in Australia.
“I just wanted to help them as much as I could to help them get bigger and better. I wanted to improve outcomes for people with lung cancer.”
Lung Foundation Australia CEO Mark Brooke says it’s the incredible generosity of people like Carolyn, that allows the organisation to make a real difference to people’s lives.
“We have so many incredible volunteers who all deserve awards, but it’s my honour to be able to present Carolyn with our Volunteer of the Year Award this year. We are continuously humbled and inspired by Carolyn and her family’s courage, strength and determination and we cannot thank Carolyn enough for her contributions.
“This week, we’re celebrating the hundreds of people who give up their time every year to help Lung Foundation Australia ensure every Australian impacted by lung disease or lung cancer has access to the care and support they deserve.
It’s been an incredibly difficult year for all Australians with the devastating bushfire season and now the COVID-19 pandemic. Through these challenges, our community has continued to come together, from afar, and we’re finding new ways to work together to support the cause.
“While in-person volunteering isn’t possible right the now the generosity of our community in sharing our messages, connecting to support each other virtually and donating online is helping us to keep up with the high demand for information and support during this challenging time.
“We simply couldn’t do it without you. Together, we’re changing lives.”
How you can help
For over 30 years, Lung Foundation Australia has been the only charity and leading peak body of its kind in Australia that delivers life-changing research and programs to support people of all ages with a lung disease or lung cancer. Our community of supporters is integral to everything we do. There are a number of ways you can get involved including advocacy, fundraising or becoming a regular giver. To find out more, subscribe to our updates here.
You can make a donation to help us continue to provide hope. No matter how big or small, every dollar makes a difference