In March of 2022, on her 36th birthday, Chloe Motzouris began a yearlong fundraiser in honour of her mum, who passed away from cancer at age 36.
Cancer left Chloe, at age 10 and her brother, just age 7, without their beloved mum.
Last year, as a mum of two young children herself, approaching age 36, Chloe felt her anxiety rising, with thoughts of cancer and having to leave her own children behind growing up without her.
Chloe decided she’d had enough. Chloe was determined to change her negative mindset and do something positive.
“I’ve carried the burden of impending mortality for as long as I can remember, and I needed to change that”, Chloe shared.
Using her fear as motivation, she set out to increase awareness about cancer in young people and raise vital funds for cancer research and services to support West Australians affected by cancer.
Chloe spent the year leading up to her 37th birthday undertaking many different fundraising challenges, pushing herself far beyond her comfort zone. With her community’s support, Chloe raised an incredible $13,676 through our Do It For Cancer program, with funds helping to reduce the incidence and impact of cancer here in WA.
To round out the 12 months of fundraising, Chloe held a beautiful and very emotional celebration for her 37th birthday.
Turning 37 is a major milestone for me, as I will be older than my mum ever was.
– Chloe, 2023.
At the end of the fundraiser, Chloe reflected on her year. “It’s been so great, so fun, challenging and emotional. I’ve really put myself out there for a cause very close to my heart, and I’m totally blown away by the generosity of people around me and people I’ve never even met – thank you!”, she shared.
Chloe says, “here is to 37 and beyond, with short hair and amazing people surrounding me.”
Read on to learn more about Chloe’s year of incredible fundraising challenges.
Cape to Cape walk
Over the 12 months, Chloe walked the Cape to Cape track in WA’s South West. Chloe did this in 10 instalments, ducking away for a day or two whenever the logistics of a FIFO husband and two young children allowed her to do so. “There were days I limped to the car when my hips weren’t holding up”, shared Chloe, but she did not give up and managed to complete the whole 134km distance, with her kids and friends joining her for sections of the track.
Containers for Change
Many people within Chloe’s community collected cans throughout the year and took them to a ‘Containers for Change’ centre, swapping cans for money, which they donated to Chloe’s fundraiser.
Recycled clothes sale
Held at the Social Club in Chloe’s hometown of Cowaramup, Chloe and two friends hosted an event selling recycled clothes and raffle tickets, raising more than $1500. “I thought no one would come but I was astounded by how popular it was!”, said Chloe.
In 1994, Chloe’s mum swam to Rottnest. Chloe decided to honour her mum by challenging herself to do the same. So, Chloe did just that. As part of a team fondly called ‘Sea Cows Swim to Cancer’ (in reference to the fact they were all from Cowaramup), Chloe did the 2023 Rottnest Swim.
Chloe recalls the swim as a wild ride of seasickness, emotions, tears, cheers of encouragement, and finally, a huge sense of excitement as they crossed the finish line and were welcomed into shore by Chloe’s kids and dad.
“I had mum’s medal with me, and I was doing it for her”, shared Chloe.
Busselton Jetty Swim
Two weeks prior to the Rottnest Swim, Chloe and the ‘Sea Cows’ participated in the 2023 Busselton Jetty Swim. This swim acted as a warmup for what was to follow and was also a chance for the team to debut their daffodil covered bathers, in support of Cancer Council WA.
Throughout the year, Chloe grew her hair out long, and in March 2023, she cut it all off and donated it to be made into a wig for someone going through cancer.
“To sacrifice my long mop for someone else is amazing!”, said Chloe.
Chloe’s husband, Shaun, knew how much this cause meant to Chloe, and decided to show his support by growing, cutting and donating his hair alongside her.
Shaun’s workplace then dared him to get his hair braided whilst on holiday in Bali, promising to donate to the cause if Shaun committed. And that he did! Chloe was amazed that Shaun followed through, and the support from Shaun’s colleagues. “These were people who I’ve never met donating. The generosity of people is unreal”, she said.
To get the word out there about young person’s cancer was very humbling, and to raise so much money for this cause so close to my heart is something I’m so, so proud of.
– Chloe, 2023.
Get creative, and set yourself a fundraising challenge, to raise vital funds for West Australians affected by cancer. To register your fundraiser, visit Do It For Cancer today.