How socks are helping to beat cancer


EVERY time Mandy Basson sees an odd sock lying around the house she thinks of her 20-year-old daughter Abbie, who died almost six years ago from sarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer.

When diagnosed with one of the 70 types of sarcoma that affects primary bone and soft tissue, Abbie spent the last few months of her life in 2011 setting up the charity Sock it to Sarcoma. Mrs Basson said Abbie came up with the unique odd sock idea because the rare disease causes a genetic mutation, or “oddity”.

“Also, Abbie’s dog always liked to eat socks, leaving plenty of odd socks in the house,” she said.

Now the Basson family including mum, dad Steve, and sister Imogen, 30, have continued Abbie’s legacy to raise funds for research.

As part of WA Sarcoma Awareness Week, June 19-25, Mrs Basson has hooked up with the Ashdale Primary School to help them run an Odd Socks Day fundraiser on Wednesday, encouraging kids to wear odd socks to school and donate funds to the charity.

One of the school’s parents, Vicki Angage, suggested the fundraising event to show support for her cousin Chris Leitch, whose brother Daniel died from sarcoma in 2013 aged 18. About 350 WA people are diagnosed with the disease every year, with one in five aged under 18.

Mrs Basson said symptoms of sarcoma were hard to spot, so the longer it took to detect, the less chance of survival.

Common symptoms include a swelling or lump which changes in size but may not be painful, a pain in the back or limb, unrelieved pain, weight loss and fatigue.

The WA Sarcoma Awareness Week Scientific Symposium will be held on Friday as a free event at the Harry Perkins Institute in Nedlands. To register click here.

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