CANCER SURVIVOR: Bella Bates will enjoy her third birthday soon.
CANCER SURVIVOR: Bella Bates will enjoy her third birthday soon. Mike Richards GLA220518BELA

Saints rally to raise cash for battler Bella

AUSSIE RULES: This Saturday will be more than just about football games.

Players from BITS Saints will wear yellow arm bands as part of Cancer Awareness Month in the game against Rockhampton Brothers at BITS Oval.

Veteran Saints player Keith Bilston holds the day close to his heart because Bella Bates, at 13 months, was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer in September 2016.

Bella is the daughter of Bilston wife Haley's best friend Robin Berthelsen and the now almost three-year-old is cancer free after eight brain surgeries and numerous rounds of chemotherapy.

She also spent a large chunk of her young life in hospital.

World-renowned surgeon Dr Charles Teo operated on Bella last October in Sydney before she was well enough to be back in Gladstone.

BITS Saints president Andrew McMahon said the club was working on several projects to raise funds for Bella.

"We encourage all supporters to wear something yellow as part of Cancer Awareness Month," McMahon said.

He said funds from raffles, a coin toss for bottles and a percentage of gate takings would go to Bella and other children who have suffered or are battling cancer.

"There will also be donation buckets set up at the canteen and bar area," he said.

He said all the fund-raising plans would be finalised tomorrow.

The Kids' Cancer Project can be accessed via the Bella The Brave Facebook site is $50,000 and money raised so far is $3251.

Bilston said: "We're hoping to raise another $2000 on Saturday which will also be a BITS Saints Ladies Day."

Donations can also be made on www.everydayhero. com/au/ and search for Bella The Brave.


Game times

U13: 10am

U15: 11.10am

U17: 12.30pm

Ladies: 2pm

Reserves: 3.15pm,

A-grade: 5.30pm

Ladies Day

4pm onwards

Tropical theme attire

Food and drinks

Tickets $30 and $15 for U18

RSVP by tomorrow