Gympie community rally to help young local battling cancer

ALL systems are go for a bumper fundraising event for Gympie teen Tayla Saunders this weekend.

Fourteen-year-old Tayla is currently battling a rare form of cancer that develops in the soft tissues, called alveolar soft part sarcoma.

The danger with this condition is its propensity for spreading to the lungs, brain and even forming inside bone.

Tayla has been receiving treatment for the past 71/2 years but the strain on the family has been significant.

Tayla also started trialling a new form of treatment six months ago but won't know the results until after further testing.

It's not just the waiting that is taking a toll. The family's finances are under pressure too.

"It's the everyday costs of running back and forth to Brisbane twice a week, and parking and assistance with medication that isn't covered by the PBS," Tayla's mum Natalie Saunders said.

"All that adds up but the assistance we've received, it's overwhelming.

"It's not just the support we've got from family and friends, but the generosity of complete strangers. Gympie really has a heart of gold," she said.

The event is a combined dinner, auction and trivia night to be held this Saturday at the Civic Centre.

Doors will open at 6pm and guests will be entertained by the Gympie State High School Band, with Nugget from Zinc 96.1 FM the MC for the evening and special guest Caitlyn Shadbolt of X-Factor fame.

Tickets are available now from Foxy Lady in Mary St for $45, and will include a three course meal from Good Food Dude.

There will also be a licensed bar at the event and the auction will be jammed packed with all sorts of goodies including jewellery, holidays, sporting memorabilia and electrical goods.

For more information, you can contact the organisers, Tracey Schmidt and Micki Bennett, who are hoping to attract more than 300 people to the evening.

For bookings, call or text Micki on 0431 179 399 or Tracey on 0427 193 736.

Bookings can also be made online at

"We're really hoping to get more than 300 people to come along," said Tracey.

"We'd also really like to thank all our sponsors who have helped with this event."

For sale

Items up for auction in 34 lots include:

Ladies jewellery

Family riding passes

Fuel vouchers

Martial arts lessons


Photography packages

Ladies accessories

Ladies beauty services

Pet products

Landscaping products

Gym memberships

Sporting memorabilia

Event tickets

Car accessories


Bar fridges

Holiday vouchers

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