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4 • Riverland Weekly – Thursday October 25, 2012

Barmera eight-year-old Gavin Centofanti has experienced cancer first hand and is urging people to...

Join Light the Night to raise funds FOR eight-year-old Gavin Centofanti and his family, this weekend’s Light the Night Community Walk in Renmark is close to their hearts. Shortly after Gavin turned three years of age he became unwell and was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. The Barmera family’s lives were turned upside down when the realisation set in and Gavin was required to travel to Adelaide for treatment. “We had to move to Adelaide for nine and a half months of intensive treatment, so it was a long time, and he’s only just finished his treatment last May,� Gavin’s mother Alex said. “We had to move to Adelaide and leave family home, my other son had just turned five and it was his first week at school. “So you are very torn and sometimes when your child is so sick and you can’t do anything you just need people to be there for you. “Because we ran our own business it made it even harder,

my husband had to be up here working and operating a business because we had to keep our people employed.� The Leukaemia Foundation came to the aid of the Centofanti family providing accommodation and help required. “People don’t realise that when you have to move to Adelaide with a blood cancer that you need to sometimes live away from home,� Alex said. “The accommodation that they (Leukaemia Foundation) are providing, they have units now but not enough, is a really big help to Riverland people.� Alex said Gavin is now in remission after three and a half years of treatment. “He’s completed his treatment and he doesn’t have to go to Adelaide as often but he still has to have regular blood tests and checkups,� she said. “It means that he’s healthy and he has another five years until they say he’s cured.� Light the Night is the Leukaemia Foundation’s inspir-

Community Development Grants

CLOSING SOON Monday 29 October 2012

www.berribarmera.sa.gov.au DAVID BEATON - CEO

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ing twilight walk to help raise funds for the foundation and also leukaemia, lymphoma an myeloma research. The Riverland Light the Night event is being held at the Jarret Memorial Gardens in Renmark on Sunday, starting at 5.30pm. The event will include food, entertainment and an inspiring story from local ambassadors. “Many local families have been touched by blood cancer and the Leukaemia Foundation was there for them – not just providing emotional and practical support like accommodation

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for families who need to move to the city during treatment but the Foundation also funds research,� event organiser Warren Falting said. “That’s why we decided to hold a Community Light the Night Walk, so that more research can

happen to bring us closer to finding cures. “We want to see family and friends coming together to shine beautiful lanterns of hope; gold to remember a loved one, white to reflect on their own journey, or blue to support others.�

400-year-old Roman relic visits Barmera RIVERLANDERS were given a rare chance last week to witness a 400-year-old Catholic relic of the right arm of Saint Francis Xavier. Travelling all the way from its home in Rome, the relic arrived at Barmera’s Saint Francis Xavier Catholic Church on Friday. Guardian of the relic Father Richard Shortall said the relic has had an impact on those who have witnessed it during the Australian wide tour. “It’s moving and in some ways quite overwhelming just to see the impact it has on people, the long queues of people from all different ethnic backgrounds and particularly Anglo Saxon Australians, the way they come and kneel before it and they all like to touch the plexiglass case that surrounds it,� he said. “He (Saint Francis Xavier) was a Jesuit, one of the founders of our order, it is a great privilege to be the one who brings the relic, especially in rural areas and to smaller communities.� Riverland Catholic parishes moderator Father Steve Ardill

said the relic’s visit to Barmera was significant because the local church is the only one in the Port Pirie Diocese which is dedicated to Saint Francis Xavier. “The relic is normally housed in Rome and it’s only the third time in its 400-year history that it has been outside of Rome and Australia is the furthest place it has ever travelled,� he said. “It’s an amazing honour to think that something that’s travelling the length and breadth of our country and going to significant sites where Xavier is honoured, that it would come here to Barmera.� Students from Riverland Catholic primary schools were given the opportunity to see the relic during its 24 hour visit and listen to the story of Saint Francis Xavier from Melbourne Jesuit priest Father Shortall. “It’s really good for our young people just to have that experience and to be in the presence of and to pray in the presence of the relic,� Father Ardill said. Parish Pastoral Council chairman John Beech said it was a great honour to have the

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■FIGHTING SPIRIT: Alex Centofanti with eight-year-old son Gavin, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of three, and (inset) a Riverland Weekly story in 2008 which featured Gavin’s fight against cancer. Photo: BRAD PERRY

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■HISTORY: St Albert’s student Henry Rogers (back) and Our Lady of the River student Nelson Hayes admire the relic, as does (right) Father Steve Ardill, Parish Pastoral Council chair John Beech and Father Richard Shortall. relic in Barmera. “It’s here for 24 hours so it’s just a blip on the time calendar but I think parishioners and a lot of locals will appreciate having the relic here,� he said on Friday.

Community Events File

October 25 - November 1

Friday 26th October s Loxton Primary School Art will be showing at the Terrace Gallery from 26th Oct - 6th Nov. Loxton Year 12 Moderated Art will be on display from 7th Nov - 22nd Nov, with their Opening Night on Thursday 8th Nov. Start time to be advised, all welcome. Saturday 27th October s Riverland Farmers’ Market, 7.30-11.30am, Senior Citizens Hall, Crawford Terrace Berri, Fresh local produce. Contact Rosalyn on 0417 824 648 s Riverland Speedway’s quiz night will be held at the Speedway Clubrooms, Sturt Highway Renmark at 6pm. $15 per head with supper included. Booking essential, limited seating for more information contact Bianca Haynes on 8586 5576. Sunday 28th October s Berri Pacemakers Bingo, Berri Resort Hotel eyes down at 2pm. Proceeds going to Loxton Baseball Club.

Sunday 28th October s Renmark Health and Fitness Centre is hosting a Pink Ribbon Breakfast from 9am-11am at the Rec Centre, Fifteenth Street Renmark. $5 per person for pancakes, including tea, coffee and juice. All proceeds go to The Breast Cancer Foundation. Monday 29th October s Open Door, Barmera Uniting Church Hall 1-4pm. Time for a cuppa and a chat. Tuesday 30th October s The Palms Bingo, Berri Bowling club, eyes down 10.30am. Proceeds going to Korea and S.E Asia. Wednesday 31st October s Rainbow connection is a support group for people and their Carers with mental issues. We meet weekly on a Wednesday 10am-3pm at the Riverland Resource Centre, 9/11 Seekamp Street, Berri. Come join us in our events and activities.

Riverland Weekly  

Issue 252 October 25 2012

Riverland Weekly  

Issue 252 October 25 2012

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