“We’re supposed to help you, not you help us” – were the words of an emotional Pat Bailey, secretary of the Parkes Can Assist branch.
On Sunday, cancer patient Steven "Nimo" Mills hosted a Can Assist bowls day at the Parkes Bowling and Sports Club to raise as much money as he could for others like him.
Nimo – who was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma in January, a rare, aggressive cancer caused by asbestos exposure – wanted to give back to an organisation that was doing so much to help him.
With the help of his friends and anyone else who supported the day, 880 raffle tickets were sold, generating $5143.70 for the charity.
And to complete the fundraising, Parkes barber Stefan Mikita shaved Nimo’s head and beard at the end of the day.
Pat couldn’t begin to express how grateful they were to Nimo.
“I’m so rapt, it’s more than I was expecting,” Nimo said.
He thanked the crowd who remained behind to witness the shave, for their support.
“It made it a great day and you’ve helped me fundraise for Can Assist, who’ve been helping me so much,” Nimo said.
“I really appreciate it, thank you very much. Pat, I’m very glad to be able to help you.”
Nimo will also be donating his long locks to artists to make paint brushes and a close friend in Minnesota to make bangles.
Parkes Bowling and Sports Club president Graham Barby helped to organise the day and also thanked those who attended.
“Without you all turning up, it would have been a disappointing day,” he said.