EXEQ staff wear hearts on their sleeves for brave Kirby
THE mainly male staff of the Toowoomba based Australia-wide business Excavation Equipment (EXEQ) are wearing their big hearts on their sleeves in October for two great causes.
Every year the company does its bit for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but in 2019 the cause has hit closer to home, with their good friend and former colleague Kirby McGrory being diagnosed with stage three breast cancer at just 35.
"We hope to fundraise directly for Kirby through this challenging time given that she is a single mother with two young children,” said EXEQ general manager Catherine Ardi.
"So we're asking our suppliers, customers and the public to help us in this year's fundraising effort as every dollar counts. It is important to our staff to do all they can to raise awareness of breast cancer as so many Toowoomba people, including staff members' families, have been touched by this terrible disease.
"We are encouraging both women and men of all ages to check their chests regularly and if they find anything unusual to see their GP immediately.”
Kirby, who has a 4cm lesion in her left breast, has 14 rounds of chemotherapy still to go but is drawing strength from the support of EXEQ and the wider Toowoomba community.
"My hair is gone, but not my fighting spirit,” she said.
In another show of support and solidarity, the staff have embossed the National Breast Cancer Foundation's pink ribbon symbol on their high-vis shirts, along with the words Kirby Tober, their special twist on the national PinkTober fundaising campaign.
The shirts also have details of the Go Fund Me page they've set up for Kirby.
"The yellow represents Safety Awareness Month as we truly believe in Workplace Health and Safety Queensland's motto of -'Work Safe. Home Safe,” added Catherine.
"Toowoomba and surrounds are far too often touched by workplace incidents that could have been easily prevented so we want to remind people to slow down, review the task and make sure everyone goes home safe.”
To donate to Kirby McGrory's cause, click here. With a long battle ahead, organisers are hoping to raise more than $20,000. At the time of writing, donations were almost double the initial target of $5000, with EXEQ and staff chipping in $4000 of that total so far.