Airlie Homestead Day for Derek fundraiser for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation

A day out with Dad: Derek Kerry and his son Riley enjoy a game at MacDonald Jones Stadium watching a Newcastle Knights game not long before his death. Picture. Supplied

A day out with Dad: Derek Kerry and his son Riley enjoy a game at MacDonald Jones Stadium watching a Newcastle Knights game not long before his death. Picture. Supplied

Derek Kerry was 32 years old when he died of brain cancer in 2013.

He grew up in Gloucester and returned to his family home, Airlie in Rawdon Vale, in the last months before he passed away.

In the those last months, the father of three was working as a teacher at Gloucester High School.

Now, almost four years later, his family is holding a fundraiser in his honour, Airlie Homestead Day for Derek on July 1, to help raise funds for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. 

In support of the foundation, the fundraiser day will be held at the Airlie homestead property in Rawdon Vale, kicking off at 10am on Saturday, July 1.

Activities on the day include:

  • a historic tour of the homestead by members of Gloucester Historical Society
  • Devonshire teas on the verandahs
  • a sausage sizzle in the paddock.
  • stall with vintage items, baked goods, plants and Brain Cancer Foundation merchandise
  • a raffle  

The foundation was founded in 2001 as a Cure For Life Foundation by neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo, with a mission to increase the five-year survival rate for brain cancer patients from the current 20 per cent to 50 per cent by 2023.

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation raises funds for brain cancer research, advocacy and awareness in Australia.

The foundation’s website states that around 1600 people are diagnosed with brain cancer in Australia annually with about 1200 dying every year. 

“Brain cancer kills more children in Australia than any other disease and more people under 40 than any other cancer," the website states.

Derek’s mother, Suzanne Landers said Derek was lucky to be one of the patients given the opportunity to be operated on by Dr Teo. 

“Charlie operates on patients other neurosurgeons are too scared to attempt,” she said. 

“Charlie gave Derek, his family and friends hope.”

A spokesperson for Dr Teo said he may be attending the fundraising event, depending on his work schedule.

There’ll also be special guest appearances by Perth Wildcats captain and former Gloucester resident, Damian Martin, Newcastle Knights player, Nathan Ross and Assistant Minister for Rural Health and federal member for Lyne, Dr David Gillespie.

Related story: Ball for brain cancer

Damian is also holding a basketball event fundraiser for the same cause on Sunday, June 25 at the Gloucester Recreation Centre.

Suzanne said they are still taking donations of items to be auctioned at the Airlie Homestead Day for Derek, by auctioneer Ian Gollan of Mernot at Curricabark.

“We are hoping more of the local businesses might come on board to support the day,” she said.

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