Wave of support for Stokers
For Brushgrove's Stoker family, the past nine weeks have been the hardest they have experienced.
Three years ago, Mark Stoker was diagnosed with a brain tumour. Nine weeks ago his wife, Cindy, was diagnosed with numerous tumours and given only a few months to live.
They have four children ranging in age from six to 14.
According to Mark's mother, Maureen McKeown, it has been incredibly tough, but their spirits have been lifted by the community response they have received since their story first appeared in The Daily Examiner on Saturday.
Mark is in Sydney today receiving radiation treatment.
But during his absence the service clubs of the Clarence Valley have banded together to help out.
For perhaps the first time for a family fundraiser, the Rotary, Lions and Clarence Valley clubs of Grafton and the Lower Clarence have banded together to do what they can to help.
Already, a bank account has been established where people can make donations, and plans are well advanced for a monster auction sale at the Grafton Showgrounds on July 31.
Over the next few days, the service clubs of the Lower Clarence will organise a similar event.
Mrs McKeown said the support was uplifting.
"Until now we have been doing things on our own, and this has taken the pressure off us," she said.
"We will have two people in treatment, so this is great.
"It is so reassuring to Mark and Cindy that they are not alone."
Mrs McKeown said the most heart-warming offers were those from people who were willing to foster the four children, although that is not yet necessary.
"It takes your breath away."
nANYONE who has material they would like to donate to the auction can contact Kim Dahl at Kim Dahl Real Estate on 66423666.
Anyone who would like to make a donation can do so at any office of the Big River Credit Union by asking to donate to the Stoker Family Trust. Receipted donations are tax deductible.