Alysha Waye (l) and Annabelle Wilson (r)
Words by Annabelle Wilson, a close friend of Alysha Waye.
This week, we say goodbye to a fierce advocate, an
inspirational supporter and a dear friend. Alysha was hilarious, passionate and
kind, and determined to make the most of every minute of her time.
When Alysha was diagnosed with GBM in 2015, she made the decision to make waves. She began by assembling one of the largest fundraising teams we’ve ever had for Walk4BrainCancer Melbourne. Alysha then began to advocate alongside many other young people living with brain cancer, she shared her story at our gala dinner and took part in the advocacy work that brought about the successful Senate Select Committee and Australian Brain Cancer Mission campaigns.
I count myself unbelievably lucky to call this incredible woman my friend. Despite living with the complexities and side effects of tumour and treatment, Alysha has had enough strength of character to also work hard to change the outlook for future generations of families like ours. She took this energy in to every aspect of her life: her impact with promoting accessibility friendly infrastructure at Bupa is also extremely notable, they called it the “Alysha Effect”.
Last year, Alysha was given the option to try Avastin. To
afford the $20,000 cost of treatment, Alysha set up a Go Fund Me page, with
extremely successful results. But once she saw the money come through, she
decided that she wanted it to go back into the cause, to help more people than
just her. She wanted to donate the money to Cure Brain Cancer Foundation and
sell her car to pay for the treatment instead.
If she could, I know that Alysha would be lending her voice to the campaign to get Avastin on the PBS, because she cared deeply about making sure the road is easier for families who are beginning their journey. She has been there, a shining positive energy, for every other advocacy campaign that I have been involved in and will continue to be a beacon as we move forward.
On Thursday of last week, I sat by Alysha’s bedside, held her hand and told her I loved her. I didn’t realise I was saying goodbye. On Friday, she took her final breath. She was vibrant and courageous the entire time. I hope she felt safe in the knowledge that she joins many other loved ones from our little group of young advocates who have been dealt these cards, including my Josh, who would always greet her with a bear hug.
We have seen so much success in the short time we have been
friends. I wish we had have seen more, but thanks to people like Alysha, we are
laying the foundations for change and we are starting to see big momentum. Now,
we have the task of continuing this momentum in their honour, of being their
voice, of upholding their legacy. Because we deserve better.
Donate to the Waye family's memorial page to help fund vital brain cancer research, advocacy and awareness