Message behind girl's battle could help you save a loved one
A TOOWOOMBA couple is honouring their daughter's final wish by continuing the fight against her silent killer.
Layla Hooper was only 22 years old when she passed away from ovarian cancer, an illness she had been fighting for five years.
Her death devastated family and friends, but also steeled their resolve to put a dent in the disease.
Using a splash of colour in their battle, her parents Sallyann Hall and Troy Hooper are now calling on the community to help them paint the town teal in Layla's memory.
"I have seen the worst of what this disease can do," Ms Hall said.
"Early detection is just so important, but it is also hard to do.
"At 17, Layla only had a sore back and a little bit of bloating - but you would not recognise that as being life threatening."
Ms Hall said she hoped fund-raising for research would help to improve early detection techniques.
In a letter published after her death in 2016, Layla spoke of facing life with a terminal diagnosis.
"I guess I've accepted what happened, just not what is going to happen," Layla said.
"It doesn't get better, you just find other things to have your mind on.
"Sharing stories like this and awareness goes a long way. What if it was your sister, daughter or mother?"
Ms Hall will host a teal ribbon event at her Henderson St house at 3pm on March 9, the day of Layla's 25th birthday.
For a small donation, guests can hang a teal ribbon on the family's tree. All proceeds will go to Ovarian Cancer Australia.
"She was always such a brave and amazing girl," Ms Hall said.
"A lot of women suffer from this and don't know it.
"That is why I want to raise awareness. I'm doing it for her."
For more information on the event, or to donate, go to bit.ly/2SqwoLn.