The Extraordinary Truth About Carrie Bickmore's Cancer Charity
Carrie's Beanies 4 Brain Cancer is changing the world -- pure and simple.
Carrie Bickmore is exhausted. She’s refusing to let it beat her of course -- the woman has too much to do, to see, to think, to achieve, for her to allow a little thing like exhaustion to get in her way. But if you pay attention you can tell. It’s there in the way she pauses between sentences, the slight scratchiness in her voice.
She has been unwell recently. She’ll admit to that much. Her daughter Evie, three, recently started kindergarten and is bringing home every lurgy on the planet. But that’s okay, she says, and just like you can tell she’s exhausted, you can tell she means this too. Carrie is nothing if not an adoring mother and it’s patently obvious. To everyone.
Evie is not her only child. There are two kids. Evie is the ‘baby’ and utterly adored by Carrie and her husband Chris Walker, Evie’s dad. There’s also 10-year-old Ollie. Equally adored. He is the child of Carrie’s former husband Greg Lange, who succumbed to brain cancer in 2010.
This is why we’re talking today. When Carrie’s husband died she was beyond devastated. Nobody needs to spell that out. Not really. You lose a partner, a loved one and you lose a piece of yourself. And you never, ever get it back. It’s that simple.
You can bury the pain of course, behave as though it never happened. But you’ll never truly succeed. Carrie, 37, knows this all too well. The co-host of The Project will never recover from her husband’s death. Not fully. But she could bury the pain deep and move on as best as possible. But she’s chosen to sacrifice her own feelings for the greater good instead.
Of course we’re talking about her passion project -- Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer. This is the charity that Carrie founded in 2015 after winning the Gold Logie for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television. And Carrie is completely dedicated to it. Yes, that means reliving the loss of Greg over and over and over. But if it raises the money needed for brain cancer research then Carrie is willing to do it. Yes. She is a bit amazing. Absolutely.
You’ll be hard pressed to get her to admit to that though.
“A lot of people have been advocating in this space for much longer than me,” says Carrie. “All I’m doing is using the fact that I have a voice and a platform.”
She’s doing far more than that of course. Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer launched its 2018 campaign on May 1. In the weeks that followed the campaign raised $5.9M. Correct. This brings the group’s total funds raised to a staggering $10.5M.
I’m stunned. And not quietly either. I tell her I’m stunned. That is a massive amount of money. A huge amount of money. And it’s due to her. But she won’t take that on board. Not for a moment.
“It’s a drop in the ocean when you consider what’s needed to change the outcome for those with this disease,” she says quietly.
All the same she is proud of what Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer has achieved. Absolutely. And she’s beyond grateful to those who have supported the cause.
“A lot of people want to help, but they don’t know how,” she says. “The problem seems too big … they think what is my five dollars, my 10 dollars going to do … but the truth is it will do a lot. It’s a collective effort.”
And she’s right of course. All you need to do is look at just how much money the group has raised so far. And if it helps researchers find a cure for this crippling disease then Carrie will be delighted and in the most major of ways. It will maybe even help her deal with her grief, which, like we said, is never truly going to go away.
The other way she will deal with it will be to remind herself that there is always someone else doing it tougher. And she genuinely believes that.
“We all have our challenges,” says Carrie. "I remind myself all the time. There’s always someone doing it tougher, someone who has it harder. Everyone is just trying to get by. But if we pull together the better everything is.”