This year my husband has decided to participate in Dry July.

Dry July aims to improve the lives of adults living with cancer and raise awareness of individual drinking habits, encourage positive change and an awareness of a healthy attitude to alcohol consumption. The funds raised go to various cancer initiatives.

My grandfather died of bone cancer last year. He had cancer in just about every bone in his body, excepting his arms and legs. In September they gave him twelve months to live, and he passed just before Christmas. It was a fast, ugly deterioration, and developed to the point where my family needed to put him into high-dependency care. He lived on his own, and though his children tried, it was impossible to keep him there. In a week, my mother might work 4 days and visit her father 5 days – which means doubling up some days. That kind of thing is only sustainable so long, and my grandfather deteriorated too fast for other arrangements to be made.

Cancer is something nearly all of us have some experience with.

In Australia, sad to say the same is almost true of alcohol. Alcohol has always been a part of the Australian culture, and has grown to the point where there is a binge-drinking problem, with multiple instances of violence over the weekend in the cities requiring police and paramedic attendance. Ugly scenes of girls vomiting on their sparkly shoes in the gutter, while some guys brawl in the background, aren’t just something the news finds for sensationalism, but a sad reality.

Alcohol-related harm causes around 3,000 deaths and 65,000 hospitalisations every year in Australia, and binge-drinking is a particular problem amongst teenagers aged 15-17 and young adults aged 18-25, where many are drinking at risky levels. Campaigns to raise awareness of alcohol-related road deaths, violence, and unsafe sex resulting in STIs and unwanted pregnancy have been targeted at these groups.

If you’d like to support my husband in undertaking Dry July, and help raise funds for cancer sufferers and assist in raising awareness of alcohol-related problems, click here.Or if you’d like to participate yourself, sign-up here.