by Julia Baker
BEANIES will be the go-to accessory at Bulldog Park this Saturday when junior doggies and footy fans alike don the headwear to put the spotlight on brain cancer.
Chinchilla Bulldogs will host a Beanie for Brain Cancer fundraiser on Saturday at their annual regional junior carnival in a bid to raise money for the Mark Hughes Foundation.
Following a brain cancer diagnosis in 2013, former Newcastle Knights rugby league player Mark Hughes founded the non-for-profit foundation, which works to raise funds to promote research, heighten awareness and support brain cancer patients and their families within the community.
Junior Bulldogs President Tamara Pitt said the cause was close to the club's heart and the carnival was the perfect opportunity to raise awareness.
In 2015, Junior Bulldogs player Cooper Zerk, now 10, was diagnosed with a rare brain tumour and had to undergo extensive treatment, including gruelling rounds of radiation and chemotherapy.
On Saturday teams from Wandoan, Jandowae, Miles, Tara and Central Burnett will meet at Bulldog Park to go head to head in more than 30 games of football.
"We're hosting Beanies for Brain Cancer because it's close to heart, we're close to Lyn (Cooper's mother) and we've been through what the family has been through with Cooper and as a club we've all been affected,” she said.
"He's a trooper and he's in remission but his life will never be the same.
"We're just trying to make as many people aware that people are affected by it and it can affect anyone at any age.
"You don't hear of it as much, but brain cancer is one of the biggest killers, it's huge but it just doesn't seem to have that following that other cancers do.
"Cooper was just a kid playing footy and all of a sudden he got sick. They thought he had tonsillitis and that's how it affected us and our club, we had to explain to kids what was happening and it's just made everyone more aware of how it can affect us all.”
The carnival kicks off at Bulldog Park at 9am.