by Emma Reid
A BUNDABERG mum who lost her son to cancer 10 years ago is now busy paying back the kindness and support she once received.
Debbie Knowles says that's why she and husband Geoff will spend the next five months preparing for a motoring adventure.
The couple will join many other parents, who also lost their children to cancers, in this year's Camp Quality's EsCarpade.
It's the third year Mrs Knowles will join the event and she knows it's importance for Camp Quality.
The family's lives were turned upside down in 2002 when 10-year-old Brenton was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a bone cancer he fought a long and hard battle with, which ended when he was 15.
Mrs Knowles said the difference the organisation could make to the children and their families may not be realised by those who hadn't walked the path of cancer.
"It's extremely important, the optimism and hope given to the kids by others at Camp Quality is unbelievable,” she said.
"Brenton was not able to be himself at school or around others who weren't going through the same thing he was.
"We've lived it, been on both sides, seen the fun times and bad caused by cancer.”
This is the reason why they are so passionate about raising funds and awareness for Camp Quality.
In October, Camp Quality's EsCarpade will rev up for another epic fundraiser with a goal is to raise $1.2m to support families affected by cancer.
Last year, $1.3m was raised by the EsCarpadians.
Mr and Mrs Knowles drove the "Legomobile” which they had done up specially for the event.
They now have a VW Beetle which will carry the theme of Cat in the Hat.
Mrs Knowles said they sold the Legomobile to family who will join the event this year after losing a baby to cancer.
The year-long fundraising starts with teams of entrants decorating their cars and encouraging people to donate to their fundraising activities.
Mrs Knowles said last year they were able to raise $10,700 and this year they aimed to raise $5000.
"We have found it hard to do a lot of fundraising this year so we lowered our amount,” she said.
"We are looking for new venues and always welcome new ideas if anyone would like to assist.”
Brenton would have turned 25 this year and his parents said it would be a memorable event for the 10th anniversary of his death which comes just before they leave Bundaberg to complete.
If anyone can assist the couple in reaching their target they can call Mrs Knowles on 0402 481 699.