By Tricia Mifsud
SEYMOUR McDonalds is calling for people and businesses to donate towards a raffle raising money for a young employee who has been diagnosed with cancer.
Michelle Lavryssen, in her early 20s, was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, before finding out she also had sarcoma, with the cancer spreading into her lungs, liver and pelvis.
Sam Payne has been a close friend of Ms Lavryssen’s while the pair worked at McDonalds and said the fundraiser would help with any medical expenses, and to encourage Ms Lavryssen to tick off some of her bucket list items.
“Michelle has been at our store for about a year and a half, and as well she was there a couple of years ago. She’s just so lovely, helpful and puts a smile on everyone’s faces at work,” Ms Payne said.
“Last year, Michelle found out she had breast cancer and there were a few of us at work that she messaged about it, and we all thought [after treatment] she’d be okay.
“But then she was told it had spread to her liver, lungs and pelvis and we all wanted to do something to help make things somehow easier for her.
“She’s so lovely to everyone and it’s killing us having to digest that someone so young is going through this, so we hope the more money we can get for Michelle, the more things we can help her do.”
A fundraiser day, ‘Michelle’s Day’, is also being organised for Ms Lavryssen, which will be at the Royal Hotel in Seymour on February 5. Details are still being finalised and will be made public for anyone wishing to attend.
Along with Ms Payne, other McDonald’s employees Nathan Xuereb and Emma Sainsbury, as well as Ms Payne’s partner Troy, are helping with the planning including gathering donations, organising Michelle’s Day and printing Michelle’s Day tee-shirts.
Mr Xuereb said he couldn’t imagine what it would have been like for Ms Lavryssen to have gone through what she had to, particularly doing it alone during the pandemic. He said the fundraiser was the least the store could do to help.
“We wanted to raise money for her as I couldn’t imagine how difficult it would be for her, going to appointments, staying in hospital alone due to COVID-19 restrictions. Going through chemo is something no one that age should have to face, especially alone,” he said.
“We felt the fundraiser is a good way to get the community together and let Michelle know she isn’t alone in this battle.
“She’s had to overcome so much already and we want to do everything possible to ensure she keeps fighting, and once she comes out of this we want her to be able to relax a little and enjoy herself.”
Anyone who would like to donate to the raffle fundraiser, contact Ms Payne on 0403 073 296 or email email@example.com.
People wishing to donate towards Michelle’s Day can visit gofund.me/847a248.