National Magazine of the Lutheran Church of Australia

Angel of hope

August 2015

by Rebecka Colldunberg

I wish I didn’t have to write this story. I wish stories like this didn’t exist.

I’m not alone. In her final months of life, our story’s protagonist put her heart and soul into a cause that she hoped would one day end the need for anyone to write a story like this.

At the beginning of 2013 Julie Schrodter was in the Royal Brisbane Hospital undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Eager for any distraction she gathered a handful of pamphlets and casually meandered through them. Some she kept, most she put back. But one in particular caught her attention: Weekend to end Women’s Cancer. It detailed a weekend event where participants— both women and men—entered as teams and undertook a 60-kilometre walk together. Funds raised by the teams supported ground-breaking and critical cancer research at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

‘She asked me one little question’, Lois Kube recalls: ‘“Will you walk with me?”’

 

Despite being seriously ill, Julie couldn’t shake the idea of forming a team for the event. The moment she arrived home she picked up her phone and called her dearest friend. ‘She asked me one little question’, Lois Kube recalls: ‘“Will you walk with me?”’

Up until the moment Julie called her, Lois had no idea what the Weekend to end Women’s Cancer was, but her answer was an immediate and enthusiastic yes. ‘I just knew that if Julie thought she could do this as sick she was, then I had to join her’, she says.

From that point on, their combined passion for the weekend became infectious. ‘Things began to snowball’, Neil Kube, Lois’s husband and fellow team member, remembers. ‘As the two ladies encouraged family and friends to join them, the team grew to 28 members. Almost all of them were Lutherans, from all over Queensland.’

Julie’s husband David says she‘was proud of the support she received from her team. It gave her the strength and drive to get herself through the bad days and make the most of every opportunity. Our team was named Legs of Hope.’

Hope was not just a word for Julie; it was an ethos she lived by. ‘Hope is what Julie hung onto’, Lois says, explaining the team name. ‘Hope that the pain would go away, hope for a cure and, mostly, the hope that God already provided for her with eternal life.’ Not only did Julie’s fellow team members carry her hope in their