A couple of young Bendigo entrepreneurs will donate some of the proceeds from the sales of their new product to an organisation that helped them through a challenging time in their lives.
Carl and Julianne Baldock are launching their new business, KURRACA Designs, and their product, a weather-proof trailer liner that keeps trailers clean, protects their contents, and does away with the need for ropes to secure loads.
The product and business have come to fruition in the years since Mrs Baldock was diagnosed with, and beat, breast cancer.
In 2016, the couple were awaiting the birth of their second child when Mrs Baldock discovered a lump in her breast.
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Aged just 27, she believed it was likely a blocked milk duct but her obstetrician sent her for an ultrasound.
She booked her ultrasound when 30 weeks' pregnant, and after undergoing that and a biopsy, the Baldocks were delivered a blow: Mrs Baldock had breast cancer.
Ten days later, she began chemotherapy.
During her cancer fight, Mrs Baldock's best friend organised a birthday weekend away with loved ones at Kez's Hideaway, a family retreat for breast cancer patients and their families owned and operated by the Otis Foundation.
"It was a great weekend," Mrs Baldock said.
Mrs Baldock is now cancer-free, although still receiving treatment to induce chemical menopause, and enjoying life with her husband and their daughters, Luella, 6, and Ivanna, 4.
She and her husband wanted to give back, so decided to donate $5 from the sale of each KURRACA product to the Otis Foundation.
"There's purpose beyond the profit here," Mr Baldock said.
Mrs Baldock said this system would ensure a flow of ongoing donations to the organisation.
Otis Foundation fundraising and events manager Mandy Mitchell said this form of income was great, because as this year had shown, anything could happen - the COVID-19 crisis had stripped the organisation of its usual fundraising events.
"It's pretty special - we're so glad to be a part of it," she said of the Baldocks' initiative.
Miss Mitchell said every $75 would provide one night's stay in a retreat.
Currently there were more than 700 people on the waiting list for a stay at an Otis Foundation retreat, she said, with the backlog especially high due to COVID-19.
Miss Mitchell said the retreats meant something different for everyone: for some, a retreat marked the end of treatment, for others it was an opportunity for a break partway through, while sadly for others, it was a final opportunity to enjoy time with their loved ones.
Mr Baldock said Be.Bendigo had been really helpful in helping he and his wife make their product and business a reality, and the Otis Foundation had offered any help needed.
The idea came about when, having used a tarp to line a trailer to take green waste to the tip, they thought there had to be something better.
The couple said the liner was useful to move waste but had other uses, including camping and moving house.
They had the idea for several years, but actively pursued making it a reality over the last two years.
Part of it was ensuring they were in a more financially secure position, but Mr Baldock said Mrs Baldock's cancer diagnosis also made them want to "have a crack at life".
She also urges women to check their breasts and not disregard any lumps or changes.
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