Diane Lawlor at the Biggest Morning Tea in Pratten in 2016.
Diane Lawlor at the Biggest Morning Tea in Pratten in 2016. Molly Glassey

Cancer fighter hosts morning tea to support other battlers

DIANE Lawlor has hosted the world's biggest morning tea event in Pratten for seven years, but 18 months ago she received news that made the cause even more personal.

"I began my breast cancer journey a year and a half ago, initially the morning tea was more for family members and people we knew had been affected by the disease, but now it's a lot closer to home,” she said.

Ms Lawlor said her own struggles with receiving accommodation and treatment inspired her to focus on where her fundraising was going.

"We were going to have to travel back and forth from Pratten to Toowoomba every day, but the Olive McMahon Lodge offered us accommodation,” she said.

The lodges run by the Cancer Council operate to provide patients with accommodation near the hospital they are getting treatment from, a service especially valuable to those living rurally.

"The money is still going to different cancer support branches across Queensland, but we are particularly trying to look after the Olive McMahon Lodge,” Ms Lawlor said.

Ms Lawlor's morning tea is a huge day, after paying an entry fee guests are invited to take a tour of her three-acre garden (which includes her collection of 550 gnomes), enjoy the live band and indulge in meals both in the morning and at lunch.

"People come from all over the region - Allora, Warwick, Pittsworth, Toowoomba and the Dalby area,” she said.

"Last year we raised $2500 and had about 80 people come along, we hope to better it this year.”

The effects of cancer are widespread, but even through her own battles with the illness Ms Lawlor is determined to provide aid to others.

"We just lost a family member to cancer last week, every second person has had a connection to someone who had cancer,” she said.

The World's Biggest Morning Tea will be running on Saturday, May 18, at 186 Big Hill, Pratten.

For more information phone Diane on 0402144809.



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