Horsham’s Tony Clancy has four good reasons to keep smiling despite the trials life has thrown the 56-year-old – his daughters, Mollie, Grace, Violet and Harriet.
Tony was a regular, happy young man, working as a builder in his dad’s business, sharing life with the mother of his daughters, until he was diagnosed with a brain tumour at 25.
Life changed dramatically. He had major surgery and radiation treatment, spent a long time in hospitals away from friends and family and eventually returned to Horsham ‘recovered’.
Despite not being able to fully participate in work and life, Tony was so grateful to everyone who helped him survive, he managed to raise $14,000 through door knocking with friends around Horsham and then riding 600km through Victoria to raise money and awareness of cancer for the Cancer Council.
Daughter Grace said her dad just wanted to give back some of the support he had received in any way he could.
While Tony’s charisma, positive outlook and happy nature are still part of his everyday life, his cognitive ability and motor skills have deteriorated due to his treatment and two brain aneurisms.
He’s always got an awesome smile on his face and we can still make him laugh.Grace O'Donnell-Clancy
Despite now living in a home, his spirits are as vibrant as ever and have inspired his daughters to create a special event for their dad and fundraise for brain cancer at the same time.
“His generosity of spirit inspired us to do it,” Grace said. “If someone who had been as sick as him could do it, then we certainly can.”
The sisters set up a Go Fund Me page called Dance for Clance and are holding a ‘dance’ for ‘Clance’ as Tony is known by, Saturday night, 5pm to 9pm, at the Horsham Angling Club.
They have been overwhelmed by the support from the community and are hopeful of making the final target of $14,000 like their dad did 30 years ago.
Special guest musician Aaron Murray is donating his talents for the evening, and food and beverages will also be available for purchase with all profits being donated towards brain cancer research.
Signed sporting memorabilia will be auctioned, as well as a raffle of goods donated by Horsham businesses with all proceeds being donated to ‘Carries Beanies 4 Brain Cancer’ charity.
“(Dad) is just inspiring,” Grace said. “I try to put myself in his shoes and wonder how I would cope. It blows my mind.
“He’s always got an awesome smile on his face and we can still make him laugh.”
She said Tony would be at the event, one way or another, even if he couldn’t stay long. The sisters have organised many of Tony’s friends to be there from everywhere.
Although the event is at capacity, people can still donate through au/gofundme/dance-for-clance page for about another week.
Grace said they really were overwhelmed by the support.
“It’s overwhelming in a beautiful way though. It’s going to be awesome,” she said.
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