He would have been showered with presents on his 40th birthday this August yet Jarrod Lyle’s greatest gift might be to help children fighting cancer better understand their illness and the treatment they are receiving.
For the third year the #DoingItForJarrod campaign supported by both the PGA of Australia and Golf Australia will raise funds for Challenge to help children and families dealing with cancer, Australian golf clubs invited to host a day, wear yellow and collect a gold donation from participants.
The #DoingItForJarrod campaign will run for three months from August through to October with Saturday, August 21 to represent both a sombre occasion and a day of celebration.
It is the day of Jarrod Lyle’s 40th birthday, his passing three years ago devastating friends, family and the entire golf world yet his legacy of kindness and good humour carries forward through his long association with Challenge.
First diagnosed with Leukaemia in 1999, Lyle became a Challenge Ambassador in 2004 with the primary aim of easing the pressure and pain of those who go through what he and his family endured on three separate occasions.
All monies raised during the #DoingItForJarrod campaign go towards Jarrod’s Gift to continue his work of advocating, understanding and raising awareness to support kids travelling a similar journey to his own.
“We are currently working on our first project, which is to create a special resource that will help to teach kids about cancer,” explained Jarrod’s wife, Briony Lyle.
“For many years, cartoonist Mark Knight has given his time and expertise to Challenge by creating images and illustrations that help explain aspects of cancer and cancer treatments in a way children can understand.
“So far these incredible illustrations have only been used within the Challenge organisation and among our families, and it is our goal to compile them into a single resource that we hope to make available to anyone who needs it.
“Jarrod often said he learnt far more from Mark’s images than he did from his own doctors and he knew firsthand how hard it was to talk about cancer to young children, which is why we are undertaking this project as part of Jarrod’s Gift.”
For Australian golf clubs the process is simple:
“In his role as ambassador for Challenge, Jarrod didn’t do anything big and flashy but instead focused on smaller, more practical things,” Briony said.
“He knew that the big, once-in-a-lifetime experiences were great for the kids, but he also understood that it was often more important to help get the family through one day and on to the next.
“With the money raised by golf clubs around Australia, we want to make sure our families continue to get through each day and can hopefully make their way through their individual cancer journeys.”
Saturday, August 21 will be a popular choice as organisers aim for a total of 300 #DoingItForJarrod days across the country and Briony has no doubt as to how Jarrod would have celebrated turning 40.
“More than likely he would be at Shepparton Golf Club, playing a round with his good mates, talking shit about their footy teams and their golf swings,” Briony pondered.
“He’d call in to his Nan’s house for some sweet treats for afternoon tea and then a barbecue dinner in someone’s backyard.
“There would be a mountain of presents (because he loved getting presents!), a plate of fairy bread that he would eat all by himself and ice cream cake.
“He would make sure it was a celebration that would be enjoyed by his own kids as much as by his adult mates.”
And that is a spirit everyone in Australian golf can celebrate.
The #DoingItForJarrod campaign has partnered with Titleist, Jarrod’s life-long golf sponsor, allowing every participating golf club to receive a #DoingItForJarrod Prize Pack which includes products unique to this campaign. Each year, #DoingItForJarrod culminates in Yellow Day at the Australian PGA Championship where a special Honour Board is revealed with the names of every participating golf club. In addition, every golf club that takes part is entered into the annual Major Prize Draw which gives three individuals a money-can’t-buy experience at the Australian PGA Championship.
Challenge is a not-for-profit organisation that provides daily support for children and families living with cancer or a life-threatening blood disorder from the time of diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. It is a unique organisation that has a very personal connection to the families it supports.