Cailllin and Simone cropped
 Apr 19, 2018

Selfless love

When your job is to record patient deaths, life can be pretty confronting. This is Caillin Austin's job. And he decided that enough was enough.

With a wedding on the way and hoping to make a difference, Mr. Austin and his partner Simone thought about how they could raise donations for patients suffering with cancer.

With what some people may consider a big sacrifice, the young couple decided to opt for no wedding gifts and instead, encourage their guests to donate to a cause close to their hearts - the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre (ONJ Centre).

"A few years ago, my uncle passed away from colorectal cancer. We were really close to him and it affected us quite a lot. Simone also had her grandma and grandfather pass away from cancer and she was extremely close with them," Mr. Austin says.

"I thought, why not make something even better out of the wedding and not make it just about us - but have a broader impact and raise awareness as well as a few dollars."

On their wedding day, the couple had a wishing well and ONJ Centre envelopes where guests could donate their money.

Mr. Austin says that the act of giving has brought them joy and happiness.

"It's a special thing to be able to give. Giving is a much better feeling than taking. I think it's a great thing - it makes you feel good and it makes others feel good too."

"When there's so many negative things going on in the world, it's nice to be able to do something positive and create a positive out of a negative."

They hope to inspire others to donate if they can.

"If you can donate, there's no reason not to," Mr. Austin says.

"If you're putting on a function, perhaps you could do what we did too. At the end of the day, you're helping families and that is a special feeling."

So far, the couple have raised $1,300. They hope a few more people who have heard about their mission can donate too. They encourage anyone to donate via the ONJ Centre website.

If you're inspired by Caillin and Simone, you can learn more about donating in lieu of gifts.