Volunteer fills an important need in the community

02-Aug-2013 2:07 PM

A busy mother of two and business owner determined to support young adults with cancer, has been named the July winner of a 3AW and Villa Maria Community Hero award.

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Each month since February, an inspiring individual who has overcome the odds to achieve their dreams, or who makes a positive difference to their community, has been chosen to receive a Community Hero award.  The initiative – run by Villa Maria and top-rating radio station 3AW – aims to ensure unsung heroes receive the recognition they deserve.
Samantha Lehmann, nominated by her friend Melissa Arch, founded The Warwick Cancer Foundation following the death of her brother Warwick who had battled cancer in his thirties.

Initially operating out of her spare bedroom, Samantha’s drive and determination has seen the foundation grow to support hundreds of young adults living with cancer who face particular challenges such as bringing up young families, fertility issues and loss of independence.

While Warwick bravely battled cancer, Samantha was shocked by the lack of support for those aged between 18 and 40.

“It is now known that every hour a young adult is diagnosed with cancer in Australia. This is 11 times the rate of children. Although there are many organisations dedicated to care, support and research into children with cancer, there are very little resources available to young adults with the same disease”, Samantha said.

The programs of the foundation are based on the concept of wellbeing, offering support and information, connecting young cancer fighters and survivors and providing wellness escapes.

Samantha continues to be closely involved in The Warwick Cancer Foundation as a volunteer Board member, dedicating many hours of her time to ensure young adults don’t experience the same challenges her brother and family faced.

The foundation doesn’t receive any government funding and relies solely on donations. If you want to help give people like Warwick the support they need or learn more about this charitable foundation, visit thewarwickfoundation.org.au.

Villa Maria Executive Manager Marketing Rebecca Ryan said Samantha was a fantastic example of the type of community-minded and inspiring people the organisation and 3AW wanted to acknowledge.

In recognition of her achievements, Samantha has been given $1,000 thanks to Mercedes Benz Melbourne, and Melissa has received an exclusive $250 Mercedes Benz gift as thanks for her nomination.

Nominating is easy.  To find out how visit: www.3aw.com.au/comp-communityheroes

Interviews and photograph opportunities are available upon request.

Media enquiries: call Anja Grams on (03) 9837 6621.

About Villa Maria 

Villa Maria is a values–based, not-for-profit organisation providing quality services and life enhancing opportunities for older people and children and adults with a disability, their families and carers.

Established in 1907 as the Catholic Braille Writers Association, Villa Maria has grown to become one of Victoria’s largest not-for-profit providers of disability, education and senior services with more than 60 programs supporting 5,000 people across the state and southern New South Wales.

Every day of the year, 1,200 staff and 300+ volunteers respond to the unique needs of the people and families we support with openness, innovation, creativity and flexibility.

Media contact

Cassie Zlonzak
Communications Adviser


Telephone: 03 9837 6629

Fax: 03 9837 6668

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About us

Villa Maria is a not-for-profit, values-based organisation providing quality services and life enhancing opportunities for older people and children and adults with a disability, their families and carers.

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