Cure Brain cancer foundation
Jerimiah “Scruff” James Mahoney decided to leave a legacy in his will so that one day children diagnosed with brain cancer don’t have to suffer as he has. His friend and boss Leigh Smart reflects on Scruff’s generous spirit.
Jerimiah is better known to his friends as Scruff. He moved from Brisbane to Sydney as a boy and was always a bit of a lad, a real diamond in the rough.
Always a generous and caring soul, he left school in year 10 and started working to help provide for his family. Scruff lived most of his life in Housing Commission premises and money was always short. He became a father figure to his brothers and they looked to him for support and guidance. Even more recently, despite suffering badly from his brain tumour, he carries out this role.
He would give you his last penny if you asked him for help. He never had children, which is a real shame as he loves his nephews and nieces to bits and would have made a great dad. His only love in his life was his dog Chyna and one of his final wishes is to have the dog’s ashes cremated with him.
He travelled all over Australia in his early years as he was tied up with the Carnivals and would attend all the country and state shows. He joined Formula Chemicals about 5 years ago and has been one of my best employees – trustworthy, loyal and just a really good friend to have around. A real Australian “mate”. He was a steadying force for the other employees and they respected him.
Scruff was diagnosed with a grade 3 brain tumour in June 2013 and given less than 12 months to live. This was devastating for his family and colleagues at Formula. With no cure available, this was the end for a great bloke that did not have a chance to experience life and did not deserve this fate. Thirty-three is just too young.
He has undergone his surgery and endless chemotherapy, taking more tablets than you can count, but with no success. We tried to keep him motivated during those dark hours, so he would come into work when he was feeling fine, sort out the boys and then have a sleep on the lounge. He is living on borrowed time really, but still hanging in there strong and we all keep hoping for a miracle.
He is a strong Broncos follower and one of the hardest tasks so far for both Scruff and myself has been to organize his funeral. But, he has a great sense of humour, so we could laugh about getting him a Bronco’s coloured coffin and being cremated in his Bronco’s gear. Instead of flowers, which is not really Scruff’s thing, we have organised beer bouquets. We’ve chosen songs, including “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog”, and a final word from the boy himself which should give everyone a laugh.
With little time left, we began to talk about leaving some money to a worthy cause and after a little research we found Cure Brain Cancer Foundation. We had a look at the case studies on their website and Scruff was very moved by the stories of some of the children, as he could instantly relate to their plight and suffering. A lot of tears followed. We spoke about what a legacy could do for the children that are suffering from brain cancer, just as he has.
I believe he is so proud of this donation, as he never thought he would leave his mark on this cruel world. It was a no brainer; let’s help out the researchers so that they can come up with a cure to help these little kids.
This is a great cause and it means a lot to Scruff to be able to support brain cancer research as one of his final gestures. My company Formula and myself will do our best to continue his legacy and raise as much as we can to keep his name up there in lights.
Leigh Smart, Scruff’s friend and boss.
We have now raised in excess of $60,000.00 towards the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
should you wish to donate please go to: https://www.curebraincancer.org.au/my-fundraising/3398/scruffs-legacy
Mana Island turtle farm sponsorship
For over 40 years the Smart family has been spending their November vacation in Fiji staying at Mana Island Resort, which is one of a number of small Islands that make up the Mamanuca Islands . Mana Island consists of a small village and school and the Mana Island resort. “the issue is that the turtle is a delicacy in Fiji so if the local people continue to eat the turtles in the numbers they do coupled with the number that die in trawler nets the turtles in the Mamanuca islands would soon become extinct so it was my way of giving something back by supporting the efforts of the mana island turtle farm & release program. Each year in returnees week we name, tag and release a number of turtles into the wild. Which is something I have had the enjoyment of sharing with my grandchildren” Leigh Smart Director Formula Chemicals.
PHOTO of Leigh Smart & grand daughters Faith & Sofie Willoughby releasing a turtle.
FIJI CANCER SOCIETY
Through the Mana Island Returnee Group, Leigh Smart has been collecting donations to support the Western Division of the Fiji Cancer Society since 2014. So far we have raised in 2014= F$2602.64; 2015= F$2069.50; 2016 = F$1878.98. With a further donation from Melrose Park School and a contribution by the Smart family in 2016 we have now raised over F$12,511.20.
This money goes directly to pay for medicine and transport for suffers to travel to the mainland for treatment.
FIJI CANCER SOCIETY DONATIONS
Leigh Smart has had a long association with Fiji and has been travelling to Mana Island, part of the Mamanuca Group of Islands for over 40 years.
His daughter Kimberlie was married to a Fijian and has two Fijian boys who regularly visit their father’s village in Fiji.
As well as sponsoring a Turtle breeding program on the Island (circulating pond water pump and LED lighting), Leigh continues to support the native Fijians on the Island with annual donations.
In conjunction with the Mana Returnees, Leigh has been raising funds for the Fiji Cancer Society.
In 2014, we were successful in raising $2602.64; in 2015, we raised another $2069.50 and in 2016 another $1878.98.
On return from Fiji in 2016, Leigh was discussing the plight of the Fijians in the Western District of Fiji with Clare Kristensen, the Principal at Melrose Park School where six of his grandchildren attend and it was decided to hold a “Mufti Day”. The result of this fund-raising event added another$529.58 to our total.
When you consider that the budget for the Western Division of the Fiji Cancer Society is only $2,500.00 per month, our fund-raising activities have been very helpful. Our donations go towards the cost of medication and travel costs for the patients to travel to the mainland for treatment.
At Christmas 2016, the Smart family made a personal donation to the Cancer Society of $1500.00.
One of Formulas past employee, Jeremiah (Scruff) Mahoney who recently passed away from Brain Cancer has left an Osprey Mobility Scooter and EVO Hospital Bed to be donated to a worthy cause. It has been decided that these articles will be of great benefit to the Fiji Cancer Society so this equipment will find a great use in the Cancer Ward of the Fijian Hospital.
Plans are under way to bring 20 children suffering from Cancer out to Mana for the day in November 2017. Pacific Island Air through their Director, Daniel Currie has kindly offered the use of one of their small aircraft to take the children for sightseeing over the Mamanuca group of Islands. The Smart family are in the process of securing 20 small computers which will be loaded with games to donate to the children.
MELROSE PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL DONATIONS
Since 2008 Formula Chemicals (NSW) Pty Ltd has been supporting Melrose Park Public School at 110 Wharf Road, Melrose Park NSW 2114 where six of the Smart family grandchildren attend. This is a small School with just on 200 students.
Formula continued to support regular BBQ and Fete events by supplying the consumables, i.e. meat, sausages, bacon, onions and bread rolls.
The first major donation involved the supply and installation of 3 Whiteboards for use in the classrooms and staffroom. In conjunction with the whiteboards Formula donated whiteboard pens, erasers and cleaning liquid.
Formula then became aware of a requirement and supplied and constructed a timber Performance Deck and installed several power points, flood lights as well as installing a pressure pump to a 10,000L water tank so the school children could water their vegetable garden. The estimated cost of this work was $10,500.00.
Over a period of two years from 2013 to 2014 Formula supplied in total 41 iPads with Retina Display with adjustable Tripod Stands, iPad Covers, Headphones and several sets of iPad Carry Baskets with an estimated cost of $22,000.00.
In 2014 with the support of the School, Formula had it first ATA Truck Week Event with the display of 10 trucks and a BBQ for 200 children. A donation of $1000.00 was made to the School for the use of the grounds.
2015 saw a major Event for ANZAC Day Celebrations with the supply of 3 Banners celebrating History as well as the Gallipoli Landing. In conjunction with this event Formula supplied a BBQ for the school children and the wider community.
2016 saw the purchase and installation of a Panasonic Data Projector 5000 by Formula for use in the School Assembly Hall at a cost of $7,000.00.
During this year, another ATA Truck Week event was held and included 30 trucks and a BBQ for 400 students and the wider community. A donation of $1000.00 each was made to the School as well as Variety the Children’s Fund.
2017 saw the donation of over 400 Library books which were excess to the Schools needs being sent to Mana Island SDA School in Fiji. This was a most welcome surprise to the 200 Fijian children attending this School on the outer Island in Fiji.
Thanks, must go to Rohlig Australia Pty Ltd for kindly organising the shipment of these books free of charge to Fiji including organising all the Import and Custom Declarations.