Fun and vintage fashion masks emotional turmoil

THERE were big curls, full skirts and bright red lips aplenty at the launch of the Vintage Calendar Girls, but all the playful fun had an emotional undertone.

The calendar was the brainchild of Mt Mellum mother-of-two Misty Bland, who wanted to raise money for Rare Cancers Australia after husband Rob was diagnosed with a thoracic chordoma, - a cancer that attacks the spine - in May last year.

The diagnosis came after five years of emotional turmoil as doctors struggled to find out what had caused a mass to grow on the T10 of Rob's spine.

Speaking to a captive crowd at the calendar launch at the Beerwah Golf Club on Saturday night, Mrs Bland said she would never forget the moment they received the diagnosis.

"The doctor brought us in and told us what it was and then sent us on our way," she said.

"We felt so isolated and hopelessly inadequate to fight this on our own and we had no idea what the future would hold for us."

WORTHY CAUSE: Misty and Rob Bland with children Eddie and Kimberley at the launch of Vintage Calendar Girls. The sale of the calendar will raise funds for Rare Cancers Australia.
WORTHY CAUSE: Misty and Rob Bland with children Eddie and Kimberley at the launch of Vintage Calendar Girls. The sale of the calendar will raise funds for Rare Cancers Australia. Roxanne Mccarty-Okane

Mrs Bland said Rare Cancers Australia founders, Kate and Richard Vines, had been a pillar of strength for the family in such a challenging time.

The fundraiser was the first for the three-year-old charity, which advocates for the rights of Australians who are fighting rare cancers.

"We've never had someone off their own bat stage their own fundraiser for us," Mrs Vines said.

Mr Vines said the majority of people with rare cancers were "abandoned by the system" and had to fund their own treatment.

To buy a calendar, visit http://www.vintagecalendargirls.com.

Margaret Rushe-Farrell and Katrina Watts.
Margaret Rushe-Farrell and Katrina Watts.

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