Help justify my Dry July suffering

YOU can take this as a promotion for Dry July – in which people turn teetotal to raise money for cancer patients – or you can take it as a cautionary tale about Facebook. Your call.

There I was roaming through Facebook, distributing witty and praising comments on other people’s posts, when I stumbled across a post by Rebekka Battista, one of the brains behind the Our House project, calling for support for her own efforts in Dry July.

As far as good causes go, the Our House project is a ripper. It’s a collection of apartments Bek and others from the Our Kids group, such as Dr Chris Ingall, are setting up across from Lismore Base Hospital for cancer patients going through radiotherapy treatment.

Radiotherapy is great for wiping out tumours, but it’s also draining, intensive and takes a long time. That’s one of the reasons the region fought so hard to get a radiotherapy unit at the Base – because cancer patients were having to travel to the Gold Coast daily or effectively move to Brisbane or Sydney for six weeks to access the treatment.

So, having a radiotherapy unit on the Northern Rivers is great. However, if you live in, say, Tenterfield, or even Kyogle or Mullumbimby, you’re still in for a rough time driving back and forth every day for treatments.

That’s where Our House comes in. Bek and Chris and company had the clever idea of building accommodation for patients and their families at a time when, frankly, they’ve enough to worry about without having to drive a couple of hours each day.

And that’s where Dry July comes in. Apartment blocks are expensive and while some money has been provided through government grants, most of it is being covered through fundraising. Last year Bek and other local Dry July participants managed to raise $70,000 for the project by abandoning booze for a month.

Now, I know Rebekka loves her “bubbles” as she likes to call them, so when she announces she’s giving them up to raise money for Our House, of course you’re going to offer a rousing “good on you”. Who wouldn’t?

Four hours later, this woman’s in my office, standing behind my chair while I sign up to go in Dry July with her.

A journalist. Not drinking. For a month.


And can I just say in my defence, in a definitive Facebook study of which Mr Men character best sums up your personality, Rebekka Battista got Miss Bossy. Surprise.

All I can say is I’d better raise a lot of money out of this.

Help me (or someone else)

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