Castle Hill RSL donation helps cancer affected Hills families

SUPPORT: Castle Hill resident's Ethan, 11, and Melissa Zefara are thankful Castle Hill RSL donated nearly $5000 to Camp Quality. Picture: Simon Bennett
SUPPORT: Castle Hill resident's Ethan, 11, and Melissa Zefara are thankful Castle Hill RSL donated nearly $5000 to Camp Quality. Picture: Simon Bennett

CANCER touches everybody’s lives but five families from The Hills will have a break from the disease, thanks to a grant from Castle Hill RSL.

You just want to get away and enjoy time together without anything related to cancer. It was a saviour

Melissa Zefara

The funding grant was part of a state-wide ClubGRANTS Scheme, which has donated more than $100 million to worthy causes.

The $4250 grant from the RSL club will allow five children to attend camp at Camp Quality. 

The Zerafa family, who live in Castle Hill, know all too well the difference Camp Quality has had on their lives. 

The family were devastated when Ethan Zerafa, now 11, was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma in March 2016.

He was nine-years-old. 

Mum Melissa Zerafa said the family’s world was turned up as Ethan underwent surgery and chemotherapy. 

“Everything changes. You try and have a little bit of normality in that situation but it’s so hard,” the mother-of-four said.

“We had a lot of support from the community.”

Ethan finished his treatment in December 2016.

Mrs Zerafa praised the not-profit organisation and Castle Hill RSL for their support of the family during their difficult time.

“The puppets visited Ethan’s school to discuss his treatment and the support we received in hospital from Camp Quality when the puppets would come in and distract him was a highlight of Ethan’s stay in hospital,” Ms Zerafa said.  “Camp Quality were very supportive and they provided an opportunity to have time together as a family – you just want to get away and enjoy time together without anything related to cancer. It was a saviour.”

The camps at Camp Quality give the children the opportunity to take a break from the stresses of cancer to strengthen their wellbeing and boost their support networks.

Camp Quality chief executive officer Kylea Tink said the organisation welcomed the funding from Castle Hill RSL Club.

“The funding from Castle HILL RSL Club will make a significant difference in ensuring that kids and their families impacted by cancer in The Hills community have every opportunity to thrive,” Ms Tink said.

“Cancer places enormous physical, emotional and financial stress on families and we are so grateful to Castle Hill RSL Club for their ongoing supporting the community.”