February 03, 2011


We interrupt your regular reading to bring you a special message from my friend Lisa Tait.

"Get your hand off it Darryl"

I want to talk about my friend called Gibbo, or Lynda Gibson to be precise.
Lynda was a fabulous chick with a big, bold laugh who made an impression everywhere she went, even in a bathrobe at a plastic surgery hospital (but more about that later).

She's also the second person whom I loved who has died of ovarian cancer.

According to The Age, Lynda was one of Melbourne's most outspoken, loved, and courageous comedians and actors. A gifted physical performer and clown, she created the deliciously evil cult character Matron Connivingbitch from the Let The Blood Run Free television and stage shows, played Trish the publicist on Frontline, and appeared on Kath and Kim, The Big Gig and Good News Week.

Yes, that's right, she was Matron Connivingbitch! When the Divine Miss M and I found that out we almost peed our pants with excitement. "She's comedy royalty," we thought.

She also had a massively, big heart. Huge, especially for a Queen of Australian Comedy.

Years ago when I was reeling from a nasty breakup, Lynda got the Divine Miss M and I tickets to see a play she was in with Judith Lucy (OMG) and Denise Scott. I never did get to meet Judith Lucy, which was my goal, but I did the see the guy from the Whitlams at the bar.

From memory, he engaged in some flirty banter with Gibbo. Go Gibbo, Go!

The thing about her was that she cared about my broken heart, even though she had cancer and had every right to tell me to pick myself up and get it together.

A toxic relationship is nothing on ovarian cancer.

Lynda co-founded OvCa, which was the forerunner to Ovarian Cancer Australia, the country’s leading organisation for ovarian cancer awareness and support.

We met when we were on the OvCa board and the reason why I am telling you about Gibbo is that this month is ovarian cancer awareness month.

Ovarian Cancer Australia’s vision is to ensure every Australian knows the symptoms of ovarian cancer and everyone affected by ovarian cancer feels personally supported and well informed about the latest treatment and research.

The disease is generally not detected until the late stages, which is why the disease is the most lethal gynaecological cancer.

The four most common symptoms of ovarian cancer include:

Abdominal or pelvic pain.
Increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating.
Needing to urinate often or urgently.
Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly.

If you have these persistently, go and see your GP and ask if it could be ovarian cancer.

I never, ever wanted Gibbo to die, she was such a force of nature and writing about it still makes it hard to imagine. But Gibbo you went out in style in a coffin decorated by Kaz Cooke, draped in a bright orange feather boa and, strangely, decoupaged clocks.

The last time I saw Gibbo she was on Kath & Kim playing a plastic surgery patient. You can find the episode here: - it is episode 2.4.

So crack open your old Kath and Kim DVDs and while you are at it, support Teal Ribbon Day. Ask everyone to support the fight against ovarian cancer and raise awareness of the disease by wearing a teal ribbon.

Teal Ribbons can be purchased from: Chemmart Pharmacies, Napoleon Perdis Concept Stores, RACV shops and online at http://www.ovariancancer.net.au/
Now go and buy one, or I will tell my friend SawHole.
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