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Health groups back fund for cancer victim's kids

Friday 13 December, 2002

A joint media statement by Cancer Council Australia, Quit and Action on Smoking and Health.

Leading health groups have urged the public to support a trust fund established to help Rolah McCabe's children.

The establishment of the trust fund to help the McCabe children with day to day expenses was announced today by Slater and Gordon, the law firm who represented Mrs McCabe in her case against British American Tobacco, and are now representing the McCabe’s family in the appeal process.

The trust fund aims to ensure that Jamie McCabe (21), Brenton McCabe (17) and Dylan McCabe (16) can continue to live together following the tragic loss of both parents recently. Mrs McCabe died from lung cancer in October, and her husband John died unexpectedly of a heart attack just a few weeks before.

Speaking on behalf of health groups, Executive Director of The Cancer Council Victoria’s Quit program, Todd Harper, said the trust would be an important support for the family at a difficult time.

'Christmas is a time to show compassion, especially to people in difficult circumstances,' Mr Harper said.

'Unfortunately, Rolah McCabe’s family have been shown no compassion by multinational tobacco giant British American Tobacco - a firm that makes billions in profits each year by manufacturing and marketing a deadly and addictive product.'

'Health groups understand that the McCabes are involved in an important battle that will have widespread implications for Australia’s Number One health problem.'

'This year the McCabe family will be one of many families celebrating Christmas without their parents.'

'Sadly, thousands of other families will also be approaching the festive season without loved ones who have died from smoking related illnesses.'

'Every day, four young Australians lose a parent to smoking. The Cancer Council has calculated that in Victoria alone, in 1999 over 3200 families lost a parent to a smoking related illness.'

Further information:
Zoe Furman
Media Communications Manager

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