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I had planned on ending this year with a light-hearted blog about the eclectic music preferences of those in the recruitment industry. I had the requisite responses from those whose preferences I requested but on Friday, 16 December 2016 the Mother’s Day Classic posted a brief note on their Facebook page as follows.

It is with much sadness that the Mother’s Day Classic family reports the death of Danni Cookesley, following a lengthy illness.

Danni’s commitment to improving breast cancer research had its beginning when her lovely mother Karen was diagnosed and there is no doubt that her contribution has been significant. Her involvement began as the Victorian Regional Executive for the National Breast Cancer Foundation in 2005. There she led the way in community and corporate fundraising, bringing an infectious enthusiasm to the role which inspired everyone around her to greater efforts.

In 2012, she joined the Mother’s Day Classic family as Marketing and Communications Manager. The same impact was felt by all; her deep commitment to the cause, her genuine, kind approach to all that she met and that endearingly cheeky persuasive personality that had colleagues and volunteers alike putty in her hands. Many a volunteer who was convinced that they really didn’t have time to do anymore, would find themselves standing somewhat bewildered at times, making just one more speech, selling merchandise during morning rush at a railway station or setting up showbags for a fundraising event!

Danni will be missed by many. We, who were lucky enough to have been touched directly by her, will remember that irrepressible smile, that wicked chuckle, the cry of ‘hello Love!’ as well as the warmth and compassion that she brought to every situation.

Earlier this year when the world mourned another superstar who left us far too soon, it was said that if you’re ever sad, just remember the world is 4.543 billion years old and you somehow managed to exist at the same time as Danni Cookesley – and better still, she called you a friend.

Much love goes to the three most important beings in Danni’s life – to Craig, Jack and Leo – her reason for living and her inspiration.

I was shocked to receive this terrible news.

I first met Danni in 2012 when I started my MDC fundraising efforts following the death of my sister a few months earlier.

As described in the above post, I was immediately won over by Danni’s friendly nature, great attitude, and wonderful enthusiasm for the cause of breast cancer fundraising.

Each year at the MDC in Melbourne, Danni and I would reconnect and she would thank me for my fundraising efforts.

Last year The MDC CEO, Sharon Morris advised me that Danni was on sick leave as she battled brain cancer. I briefly saw Danni at the 2016 MDC where she came across as her friendly, exuberant self. I was optimistic that the treatments Danni was receiving were having a positive impact.

Sadly this was to be the last time I saw Danni.

Danni passed away last Wednesday at the age of 45.

Danni is survived by her husband Craig and her two young sons, Jack and Leo.

Thank you, Danni, for making a massive difference in the lives of many others, most of whom you never met. Your selfless contribution to help find a way to fulfill the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) goal of ‘zero breast cancer deaths by 2030’ has been an inspiration to many and is a legacy worthy of your life.

May you rest in peace, Danielle Mary Cookesley.

Donate to the NBCF here
Donate to the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation here

Related blogs  

A gratifying day at the 2016 Mother’s Day Classic

Life doesn’t come with a guarantee

My Dad, Anthony (Tony) Campbell Clennett: 25/02/1934 – 12/07/2015



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