Dr. Jenny Dowell OAM JP
I first met Jodie McRae and her two beautiful children, Kaela and Jake, at a business awards dinner around 2009.
Jodie radiated warmth, enthusiasm and a love of life as she accepted the award for Lismore Shopping Square Business of the Year. I came away from the evening knowing I’d met a very special family.
Our paths crossed a few times in the following years, but when Jodie came to talk to me in 2013 it was to tell me she had what I’d had: breast cancer. Hers was triple negative, a rotten type, and while Jodie knew she had a tough journey ahead, the strength she demonstrated was awe inspiring. We kept in regular contact during her treatment, shared the joy of her cancer free status, her family’s achievements and then the awful news that the cancer had metastasised.
Jodie formed her charity Jodie’s Inspiration determined that, while she knew she couldn’t survive, she wanted others facing a cancer diagnosis in our region to benefit from her endeavours, and her mantra to “Live Life Large.”
As Mayor of Lismore, I couldn’t have been happier to award Lismore Citizen of the Year to Jodie in 2016. She fulfilled every criteria. On a deeply personal level, I was in awe of Jodie’s willingness to go wig free as she lost her hair in chemotherapy; something I wasn’t brave enough to do. She and I knew how much hair loss affected so many women and the Cold Cap therapy machines that have been purchased in her name are a fitting first step in the legacy she and Jodie’s Inspiration are creating.
So I think it’s obvious why I was honoured to accept the invitation to be Patron of Jodie’s Inspiration. Jodie’s life was lived large and her legacy will last for ever.