TAKING A PUNT: Nathan Quirk kicks down field for the Casino Bulls.
TAKING A PUNT: Nathan Quirk kicks down field for the Casino Bulls.

They?re pulling together for a mate

By STEVE SPINKS

sport@northernstar.com.au

CASINO rugby players Joey Mohammed, Terry Llewellyn, Matt McCormack, Paul Batson, Marcus McCormack, Carl Tahatu, Steve Handford and Tony Handford are pulling together to help out a mate.

The eight players will be one of Casino's tug-o-war teams for the fundraising day next Saturday for Bulls five-eighth Nathan Quirk and his young family at Albert Park, Casino.

Quirk played a big role in lifting the Bulls to the preliminary final of the Far North Coast rugby competition last season.

But now he and his family have a big fight on their hands.

Nathan's wife of only a year, Eve, is battling an aggressive brain tumour and is about to start a course of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in Brisbane.

The 26-year-old St Vincent's Hospital nurse found out about the tumour while pregnant with the couple's first child.

"The pregnancy masked a lot of the symptoms," Nathan's father Ian Quirk told The Northern Star.

"They removed the tumour and we had to wait to see if it was benign or malignant.

"When the doctors found it was malignant, they performed a caesarean straight away."

Baby Eleanor was delivered eight weeks premature and is still in the neonatal unit of Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, but she's improving every day.

Unfortunately, Eve's condition was further set back when she developed an infection after the surgery.

The Quirks' plight has galvanised the Casino Rugby Club and the Casino community into action especially since Nathan has had to take a break from work so he can be with his wife and baby in Brisbane.

A family fun day at the rugby park has been organised with the feature event the tug-o-war competition.

The Bulls eight have thrown down the gauntlet to every sporting club ? or any club ? on the Northern Rivers.

Already the Casino Lions AFL Club has indicated it will take part, as will a number of teams from the Ballina Rugby Club.

It will cost each team of eight $10 to enter. The winners will receive a cash prize, with other proceeds going to the Quirks.

The Casino team have indicated if they take the prize they will donate their winnings to the Quirks.

The fun day, which will start at 11am, will also have a jumping castle, balloon animals, face painting and novelty events for the kids, while the adults can try their luck on the chocolate wheel or raffles.

There will be a gumboot tossing competition, as well as plenty of food, and a local band will play.

Showing just what type of town Casino is, nearly everything for the fun day has been donated by local businesses and families.

"We've been blown away by the response of everyone," Mr Quirk said.

"The Meatworks and St Vincent's have been exceptional, as have the rugby people."

Entries for the tug-o-war need to be made with Sonia Makings by next Thursday on 66621503.

For more information on the fun day, contact Vaughan Lav-elle on 66627825.



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