“Dad never lost his courage”: Daughters dedicate race day to a cancer free future

Sisters Becky Gifford and Holly Stower lost their father Glen to lung cancer in May 2015. The much-loved poppy, partner, brother, uncle and mate will be remembered at a fundraising day next month as Becky (above left) and Holly continue their race for a cancer free future.

Holly Stower remembers July 2014 like it was yesterday.

Her father Glen went to the doctor to have some sunspots removed and told the GP about a cough he’d had for as long as he could remember.

“The GP ordered an MRI, which revealed a 4cm mass in dad’s right lung,” Holly said.

“A few days later he was rushed to hospital with difficulty breathing and he spent the next three weeks in and out of hospital undergoing a series of painful and invasive scans, scopes and biopsies.

“When the results were finally delivered our worst fears were confirmed – stage four lung cancer.”

Holly and her sister Becky watched their dad’s condition deteriorate in a matter of months.

“It still makes my head spin to think that one week he was working long hours in a physically demanding job as a builder, surfing, spending hours out in the yard, planning trips in his caravan and goofing around with the grandkids,” Holly said.

“Suddenly, at age 55 dad was dying. He was given a prognosis of nine to 12 months.

“Despite everything he endured, dad never lost his courage, his sense of humour and his tremendous will to live.”

Glen lost his battle with lung cancer surrounded by family at his home in May 2015.

While the Stower sisters grieved their selflessness gave life to an event that would support other people.

“Becky and I created the annual Glen Stower Memorial Race Day fundraiser in 2016, not only as a legacy for dad but also because we’d like to think that in some small way we might be able to bring hope to other families affected by cancer,” Holly said.

“I suppose we want to contribute in our own way towards stopping cancer from robbing people of their quality of life and robbing families of their loved ones.

“Money we raise will contribute to the work of Cancer Council Queensland in research, support services, prevention and early detection.

“We really hope that one day a cancer diagnosis won’t have to be a death sentence, as it was for our dad.”

This year’s race day will be held at Bundamba Turf Club on Friday, 15 December.

“Last year we had around 60 people attend the event. The whole vibe was really upbeat, exactly how dad would have wanted it to be,” Holly said.

“He was a big kid at heart and he wouldn’t have wanted people to dwell on grief or loss, he would have wanted people to celebrate his legacy by getting into the spirit of the day.

“This is a very humbling experience and we hope we do dad proud.”

Glen Stower Memorial Race Day

WHEN: Friday, 15 December, noon to 5pm
WHERE: Ipswich Turf Club, 219 Brisbane Road, Bundamba
WHAT: Entry, racebook, three-course sit down lunch, five-hour drinks package, live entertainment and raffles
COST: $85 per person
BOOK: To Becky on 0421 859 321, 3282 1500 or [email protected]

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