Name: Brittany-Louise Booth
Pursuit: Create greater public awareness of childhood cancers.
I provide pillowcases to children undergoing treatment for cancer throughout Australia as well as some hospitals overseas. Inspired by my regular visits to hospital having had cancer as a baby I set up my charity ‘ Pillowcases for Oncology Kids ‘ I want to not only create a greater awareness of Childhood Cancer throughout the community by way of various media outlets, but to also educate children in both primary and high school on cancer and how it affects not only the child diagnosed but other around them, especially their families and peers.
When did you start?
I started Pillowcases for Oncology kids in July 2011, Why? I started POK because my mum and I were talking about when I was in treatment and I had a special pillowcase that was navy blue with red cherries on it, I took it everywhere. to all my hospital visits and hospital stays. To some a pillowcase doesn't seem like much but it can brighten a child's journey through cancer. It made mine feel like there was a piece of home with me whilst I was far away from home, that's what i wanted to do for children in all oncology units not only in Australia but also internationally, it brings a smile to there faces and it also can give them hope with seeing me a cancer survivor knowing that there is hope and that they aren't alone.
Career highlight or biggest achievement?
A big personal achievements of my own would be, being able to reach year 12 even though I have faced many struggles in my schooling years having missed approximately 2 1/2 years of schooling due to medical procedures and complications. even though I struggle with reading and face some learning difficulties I was awarded the top of English studies for year 11. Some of the highlights since starting POK (pillowcases for oncology kids) would be: - being nominated for the Pride of Australia award and being in the top 3 for NSW - being able to meet all the children in oncology units around Australia. - receiving the child of courage award from the lions club. - the leadership award from ADFA - being accepted by the AFTS foundation as a grant recipient for 2014.
What is your dream?
In all honesty, my personal dream is to travel the world and experiences every bit of it, live/work in countries for 6 months or so. My dream for Pillowcases for Oncology Kids, is to get it into every oncology unit around the world and in all of the Australian oncology units. To be able to put big smiles on these children's faces and to help brighten their journey but also to give them and their parents hope. And to also eventually have the organisation on the same stage as the McGrath Foundation. Pursuit - To have Pillowcases for Oncology Kids on the same stage/platform as larger charities like Camp Quality and the McGrath Foundation which are household names within Australia if not globally.
Who or what have inspired you?
Who or what inspired me would have to be all the children that I have met through pillowcases for oncology kids, my first hospital visit actually inspired me to continue with the charity and to not only just go to the oncology units I knew but to go to all of them in Australia and also internationally, because the feeling it gave me was indescribable, their faces would light up, like they haven't smiles for days they would ask me questions that some people wouldn't realise why it was important to them.
Who's your hero?
I honestly don't have a hero, I don't admire any famous people nor any sports stars like other people. In a way my hero would be my mum, dad and my teddy Elmo, they stuck by me through my worst and held themselves together for me at later stages when we had a few scares that my cancer was back. They come to all my hospital check ups and I still take Elmo if I go in for a big operation (his like my lucky charm), but my parents stayed strong and didn't give up on me and therefore I look up to them and cherish them
Any other special talents?
Not really sure but if you asked my family and friends it would probably be talking under water with a mouthful of marbles.
Don’t have favourite movie but I do like Bones, NCIS and Sex in the City
Lily and Me by Moses Aaron the only book I have ever read cover to cover and more than once.
Favourite TV Show?
Everything except fish
How the grant will help you/how will you use the money?
As I mentioned in my grant submission, would be used to help create the production of an advertisement of the awareness campaign. We intend on using some if not most of it to produce the Childhood Cancer Awareness ad to a level that would see us in the same area as some larger charities like McGrath Foundation, Camp Quality just to name a few. Even though they have large advertising budgets we would still like to be able to produce something of similar if not better quality and more engaging. This could also mean we may need to use some of the grant money to get some marketing advise from our chosen marketing firm/person.
Last words: Quote or Motto you live by?
'You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have' This is something that is very close to me, literally I have it tattooed on my shoulder blade.