In 2018 Mary-Ann Lopez and her husband, Alex celebrated being happily married for 32 years (30 of them living in Riverview). An important member of their household was their dog Vinny (see our cover photo).
That same year, aged 58, Alex became one of the more than 4,000 persons diagnosed in Australia each year as having pancreatic cancer.
From a picture of excellent health (including iron man training), Alex experienced feelings of indigestion, which developed into acute stomach pains. Eating became a struggle and Alex lost weight quickly.
Early tests were inconclusive, with medical opinions ranging from gallbladder issues to possible liver problems. It wasn’t until surgery was conducted in early 2019 that the worst fears were realised, and it was confirmed that Alex was suffering from pancreatic cancer
Prior to the life-changing diagnosis, Alex led a normal life, focused on family, friends and community. He was devoted to Mary-Ann and was blessed with an extensive network of close friends. He balanced work and play seamlessly, regularly made time for charitable activities, and enjoyed the affection and respect of all who knew him. He looked after his health and was a regular competitor in triathlons.
Alex’s fight against pancreatic cancer was extremely difficult. He underwent numerous biopsies, surgeries and procedures and suffered internal bleeding, sepsis, pneumonia, adrenal failure, and colitis, whilst enduring months in hospital, multiple stays in intensive care and days of intubation.
Mary-Ann was by Alex’s bedside every day.
A support group called Team Lopez was formed to rally behind Alex.
Mary-Ann made a promise to Alex that a positive had to come out of such a horrendous negative, and Team Lopez Foundation was formed.
Team Lopez Foundation is committed to honouring Alex and his wish, by contributing to raising awareness of pancreatic cancer, by raising funds to invest in finding a cure and by undertaking initiatives that will support sufferers of this cancer.
Team Lopez Foundation is staffed entirely by volunteers, all of whom donate their time freely so that all proceeds can be spent on research and the broader fight against pancreatic cancer.
Mary-Ann told ITC that during tough times you are amazed at the strength you find not only within yourself but by the strength and support given by others, and one such person was Candice, the founder of Bloomingtails.
At that time, Bloomingtails was located behind the Riverview Vet on Northwood Road and Vinny was a regular (and a favourite) at daycare.
Vinny was shared between friends and Doggy Daycare. Mary-Ann did not know how her day would look and she could never guarantee a pickup time from Doggy Daycare.
This was before Bloomingtails had their Taxi service, and Candice simply said don’t worry, “I will get him home”.
Vinny is very much an inside dog, so Mary-Ann gave Candice her keys and if Mary-Ann was held up, Candice would drop him home and feed him; it was one less thing Mary-Ann had to worry about.
Vinny was Bloomingtails First Taxi Passenger!
Team Lopez Foundation and Bloomingtails have teamed up for a PAWsome event at Tambourine Bay Reserve on 21 May 2023 between 10 am and 2 pm. The event is to raise awareness and funds for Pancreatic Cancer Research.
PAWsome Event Details
Round up your PAWsome family for the BIGGEST RIVERVIEW CHARITY EVENT THIS YEAR at Tambourine Park Reserve!
Join local businesses, local families, dogs, and an auctioneer on MAY 21 2023 from 10 AM – 2 PM .
Family and dog activities, stalls and sausage sizzle – This event is designed for families and fur-parents to help raise money and awareness for Pancreatic Cancer Research – Team Lopez Foundation. All activities and retail purchases will go directly to the cause.
Raffle Prizes – At 12:30 pm, the lucky winners will be announced! Prizes from Bloomingtails Dog Grooming, Dog Walking, Dog Treats, kids toys and local business vouchers. Simply buy your raffle ticket at the entry! All funds will be donated to Team Lopez Foundation.
Pawsome Auction – A PAWsome Auction will be held at 12:30 pm to raise money for Team Lopez Foundation. There will be auction items, including a race track voucher and so much more! It could be your PAWsome family’s lucky day!
Let’s suPAWt together, RSVP here:
Please RSVP, as they will enable the organisers to plan for catering and other activities.
ITC will see you there with Mr Doggy ITC!!