The farming industry is uniting to help Shaun Bradley and his family through one of their biggest challenges.
Bradley, 28, is a Tapanui farm manager battling cancer. He has stage four B cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
West Otago communities have rallied around Bradley, his wife Olivia and their daughter Charlotte, who is 8-and-a-half months old. The couple recently celebrated their second wedding anniversary.
His employers, Nelson and Fiona Hancox, and PGG Wrightson wool buyer Jared Manihera, are arranging a 24-hour sheara-thon as a fundraiser for the family. The shear-a-thon will be held on February 6 and 7 at a Moa Flat farm belonging to Bradley’s employers. Manihera said the public were welcome to attend the event at 670 Wilden Runs Rd. It starts at 10am on the first day.
The Hancoxes own the 5500 ewe lambs being used and the money they would have paid shearing contractors will be donated to the Bradleys. More than 20 shearers from throughout the South Island will be in action.
The wool shed has five stands but for the shear-a-thon, seven will operate.
Two blade-shearers are also taking part.
‘‘The West Otago community is really good in times of need,’’
Nelson Hancox said. ‘‘Shaun’s a genuine, hard-working young guy.’’
Michelle Harrex, who won two open national shearing titles during the 1990s, is coming out of retirement to be part of the sheara-thon. ‘‘We heard it was on and wanted to support Shaun,’’ Harrex said.
She and husband Barry are Gore dairy farmers and occasionally shear the odd sheep. They were shearing contractors in Central Otago before selling up in 2000.
Bradley said it was incredibly humbling to receive the support.
‘‘I’m blown away by it, people are coming out of the woodwork with generosity.
‘‘It helps you get through a hard time . . . it’s incredible.’’
His cousin, Scott Stiven, is in charge of a stock drive to raise funds. For the past three weeks he has been collecting donated stock, selling them at the Charlton saleyards and giving the proceeds to the Bradleys.
About $10,000 has been raised from the sale of about 50 stock.
A farming community in North Canterbury is also running a stock drive for the Bradleys. The couple lived in North Canterbury before moving to West Otago three years ago.
‘‘It’s been amazing how many people have been keen to help out,’’ Stiven said.
Other groups helping with fundraising activities for the Bradleys include the West Otago Young Farmers and Lions Clubs and Heriot Rugby Club.
Article courtesy of Southland Times