Rockhampton's Blair and Angela Grice and their young family.
Rockhampton's Blair and Angela Grice and their young family. Contributed

FAMILY HEARTACHE: Community rallies as Angela faces final days

IT TAKES a special family to capture the hearts of a community.

Blair and Angela Grice are part of such a family.

Their time, generosity and kindness is endless - no job too complex.

Tragedy struck mother-of-three Angela, aged in her 40s, late last year when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

While she fought the good fight, she is nearing the end.

Doctors have told the family she only has days to live.

Among those who are rallying behind the family are Berserker Bears and Southside United Football Clubs.

Two clubs the Grice family has crossed paths with extensively over the years.

On Saturday, the clubs will stage a charity match at Elizabeth Park.

Speaking on behalf of his family an emotional Blair was touched by the sentiment.

"It is very humbling. We both have been heavily involved with these clubs," the popular firefighter said.

"One of the reasons why I have my kids involved in football is the friendships and memories I have made.

"My teammates were some of my best friends when I played as an eight-year-old.

"The support has been overwhelming - we have left hospital and are heading home."

 

Berserker Bears' Lindsay McMaster and Southside United's Paul Vann both cherish their friendship with the Grice family.
Berserker Bears' Lindsay McMaster and Southside United's Paul Vann both cherish their friendship with the Grice family. Matty Holdsworth

Bears' Lindsay McMaster and Southside's Paul Vann are long-time friends of the pair - they both described them as "give you the shirt off their back kind of people".

"He is a fire-fighter, a community person, and does so much for the juniors all over the region," Lindsay praised.

"He would give you the shirt off the back and that's the kind of bloke he is.

"Family has always been huge for him. But it is not just him, Angela always shows interest as well.

"As long as I have been around, Angela has always been there in her little bucket hat with her jersey six sizes too small playing goal-keeper.

"It is just a sad time for the family."

Bears secretary Jelicia Burns said responses to the match had been overwhelming - such is the region's appreciation for the family.

"They are just a lovely family. The first to help anyone out... so we thought it was time to turn the tables and help them out," Jelicia said.

"Within two days of organising the day, we have had over 80 people confirming they will come.

"The Grice family is just very important to a lot of people in Rockhampton.

"Angela is only in her 40s and they have three young children. It is so sad."

Jelica hoped the funds raised would help support Blair and his young family but also raise awareness towards the relatively rare cancer.

Elizabeth Park will host a 5pm kick-off between the clubs and a scratch seconds and thirds game at 3pm.

A jumping castle and various activities for children will be on offer along with a raffle. Bowel Cancer Australia has donated items to be sold on the day.

Southside and Berserker are also launching the Warrior Shield in her honour. The winner of regular season fixtures will be awarded the shield.



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