Beanies for Brain Cancer Round is giving sufferers a voice
The Beanies for Brain Cancer Round is giving sufferers a voice according to Anne Callander, who lost husband Matt last year after an 18-month battle with the disease.
This is the third consecutive year the NRL will hold Beanies for Brain Cancer in round 12 as a result of the hard work the Mark Hughes Foundation and Matt Callander instigated.
Following the passing of Matt in October last year, on Thursday wife Anna emphasised the importance of raising money for research and giving people an avenue to tell their story.
"We're giving people a bit of a voice," Anne said.
"The true thing about this campaign is that people come and tell you their stories. It's amazing the support.
"By people buying a beanie and coming and talking to you, they're really just saying we love this. It's out there and everyone is talking about it and that's what Mark is really trying to achieve to get people to talk about brain cancer."
On Wednesday Waverley College students, staff, and families gathered to take part in a World Record attempt of "the largest gathering of people wearing beanies". Anne described it as an amazing experience of the community coming together.
"Just seeing a sea of people walking up the beach or running towards the cameras as they we're rolling for the Today Show was amazing," Anne said.
"We're bringing people together, we're all standing together with a beanie on saying 'Listen to us, we need a cure to this disease'."
Last year the partnership between the NRL and the Mark Hughes Foundation raised $1.75 million and sold out of the beanies. The former Newcastle Knights premiership winner, who is facing a battle of his own with brain cancer, said the support shown over round 12 of the NRL Telstra Premiership was overwhelming.
"It's a dreadful disease and we want to stop it. We have an amazing team and amazing supporters and have this whole NRL community behind us, it's a really overwhelming weekend for everyone," Mark said.
"We didn't realise the power of what Matt Callander and the NRL could do. We didn't realise it was going to get this ambush of support, it was unbelievable.
"This year we've worked really hard to get as many beanies ready, we've loaded up and now we just need people to buy their beanies."
All 16 NRL clubs will show their support by running out in their beanies ahead of their round 12 clash.
Knights legend and premiership winning captain Paul Harragon said it would be a defining moment.
"To see the boys run out of the stadiums this weekend with their beanies on and the crowd with their beanies on, these guys (Anne and Mark) right here must feel so wonderful because support is what makes the world go around," Paul said.
"It's a little bit of magic, it's wonderful."