A holistic cancer treatment centre set to support WA patients fighting the insidious disease will honour Perth teenager Milli Lucas, who lost her battle with brain cancer last year and captured hearts across Australia.
An incredible $60,000 has been raised for the Millstar Foundation which is focused on establishing complementary alternative holistic cancer treatments at a WA clinic.
The centre would honour Milli who died in January last year and leave a lasting legacy for the brave girl whose health fight sparked a massive outpouring of public generosity.
Milli’s mother Monica Smirk said setting up a not-for-profit WA clinic would mean cancer patients and their families wouldn’t have to travel interstate or overseas like Milli had to.
“It will mean they will have more treatment options, at the moment in WA if you have cancer you’ve got chemotherapy, radiotherapy and cyber knife,” she said.
“We’d love to set up a clinic to be able to offer different treatment for West Australians so they don’t have to travel like we did.”
Milli had a rare genetic condition that predisposes carriers to a lifetime risk of a wide variety of cancers.
Li-Fraumeni syndrome has preyed on most of the Lucas-Smirk family, killing Milli’s grandmother, cousin and uncle.
Her mother, sister and another cousin have also battled tumours.
The 14-year-old defied her terminal diagnosis for years with the help of renowned neurosurgeon Charlie Teo who conducted numerous delicate, high-stakes brain surgeries.
Ms Smirk said the WA centre would honour her “angel” daughter.
“We really wanted a legacy for Amelia and the way West Australians put their arms around Amelia and loved her and helped her, we want to help them back,” she said.
“WA knew her well and they supported her so well that we wondered how we were going to give back and thought this is the way we’d be able to give back.”
Ms Smirk said Dr Teo was “blown away” with the idea.
While planning for the centre is in the early stages, Ms Smirk said a recording studio inside the centre would give sick children “the chance to be a rockstar” where they could sing and record their favourite songs.
The Agency Group executive director Paul Niardone led fundraising efforts by shaving off his beard which he had been growing since mid-2021.
Items ranging from a week stay at Riveresque in Margaret River to a framed Fremantle Dockers Starlight Foundation Jersey, as well as signed boots from star West Coast Eagles forward Josh Kennedy were auctioned off on May 6.
“My heart goes out to all the brave people who are battling this insidious disease,” Mr Niardone said.
“The backing we have received is absolutely astounding and goes to show that even with a small gesture we can make a massive difference in the lives of cancer sufferers and other families living with cancer.”
Donations to support the Lucas-Smirk family’s dream can still be made here https://www.paulsgreatshave.com.au/