Every day, at least nine Tasmanians are diagnosed with cancer. For registered nurse Julie French, it was a routine breast exam in September last year that revealed the worst.
"It was overwhelming to be told I had breast cancer," she said.
"One day you are at work and you leave to go to an appointment, and the next day you have cancer and never come back. I didn't get to say goodbye to anyone."
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Despite her experience working in Launceston General Hospital's operating theatre for more than 20 years, Mrs French soon found herself in an unfamiliar world.
Following surgery, and throughout her 12 weeks of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation, she was able to find solace in the support programs offered by Cancer Council Tasmania.
"They offer all different programs, all of which I was so grateful for," she said.
"Even something like tai chi I got so much out of, to help get my body moving again. Because it felt very different to suddenly be the patient.
"I had all this expertise - I trained [as a nurse] 40 years ago. But I don't think I really understood the implications - the impacts cancer can have on families.
"Just for my own family to understand what was going on, what to do next, what to expect and how we would get through it."
With her treatment coming on the back of COVID-19 lockdowns, Mrs French said she was also craving human connection.
"I really missed people and contact," she said.
"I don't know how many people I've met. You don't realise how many people are actually impacted by cancer.
"Part of the [Cancer Council] programs too, you get to talk to other people.
"I got so much support from other patients. So I could ask things like 'when do you think my hair will fall out?'"
The programs enjoyed by Mrs French would not be possible without ongoing fundraising support for the Cancer Council.
Next month, the organisation will host its annual Sparkle for Hope Gala Ball, while celebrating a 10-year partnership with Launceston's Haab Designer Jewellers.
The event is one of the organisation's biggest fundraisers, and this year guests will have the chance to enter the Sparkle Raffle to win a natural pink pear cut diamond valued at $4995.
Donated by Haab Designer Jewellers, owner Tim Haab said they had been supporting the Cancer Council for the better part of a decade because they could see first-had the difference it made.
"Everyone knows someone with cancer," he said.
"Both of my parents have had cancer and so it was a fairly fortuitous thing really, when we decided to start donating. We thought it would just be the one year and that would be the end of if, but it turned out to be 10 years."
This week Mr Haab came face to face with some of the people, like Mrs French, who have benefited from the Cancer Council's support programs.
With all proceeds raised from the Sparkle for Hope Gala Ball staying in the community, Mr Haab said it was very rewarding to see the difference being made.
"Someone like Julie, she was so thankful and it made me feel that we are actually contributing to our local community," he said.
"It's not just some faceless person. We are giving back to the people in our backyard."
Cancer Council Tasmania chief executive Penny Egan said Haab has been an integral part of the gala event.
"Every year for the past 10 years the people of Launceston and the greater North have come together to support Cancer Council Tasmania," she said.
"It's always a great night, but importantly the funds raised stay in Tasmania to support the more than nine Tasmanians diagnosed daily with cancer.
"And for the past 10 years, Haab Designer Jewellers has donated a diamond to our Sparkle Raffle as part of that fundraising and I want to thank Tim and Karen Haab for their support."
The Sparkle for Hope Gala will be held at the Ballroom at the Country Club Casino on Saturday, August 7, with limited tickets still available.
Live auction items include a Ratho Farm golf lovers package, a Tales of Romance package at Macq01; and a corporate box at Marvel Stadium.
The silent auction will also include a luxury glamping experience, a Derby adventure package, Festivale gift packs and Cancer Council Tasmania limited edition Blundstone boots.
What: Sparkle for Hope Gala
Where: Ballroom at Country Club Casino
When: Saturday, August 7
Tickets: Contact Carissa Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.