Lord's to turn red to honour Ruth Strauss
Former Ashes rivals Andrew Strauss and Glenn McGrath talk about how growing awareness and funds can help cancer sufferers
Sam Ferris at Lord's
15 August 2019, 08:27 AM AEST
Lord's will turn red on Thursday for the inaugural Ruth Strauss Foundation Day, which honours the life of Ruth Strauss and aims to raise awareness and funds for rare forms of lung cancer.
Ruth Strauss, wife of former England captain Andrew Strauss, was diagnosed with a rare lung cancer that attacks non-smokers at the end of 2017 and passed away on December 29 last year aged 46.
Fans on day two are encouraged to wear red – Ruth's favourite colour – with the players of both sides to be presented commemorative red caps and wear red numbers on the back of the Test shirts.
The initiative hopes to replicate the incredible feats of the McGrath Foundation's Jane McGrath Day, where thousands of spectators, pundits and even police officers wear pink on day three of the annual New Year's Test at the SCG. Since its inception in 2009, Jane McGrath Day has raised millions of dollars to support breast care nurses around the country.
The 11th Sydney Pink Test between Australia and India last summer raised more than $1.2 million to help fund nine McGrath Nurses for a year.
The help and support of breast care nurses made a world of difference for Jane as she battled cancer and was the driving force behind establishing the foundation in 2005.
"I remember, Jane was explaining in the simplest form what the breast care nurse allowed her to do," McGrath said on BBC Test Match Special.
"When she was first diagnosed there was no nurse, nothing available so she'd come home and have all these things going on in her head and jump on the internet and there's so much information, so much misinformation that she'd get off feeling worse. She was a mess.
Beautiful/heartbreaking and inspiring. Thx for sharing G and hope you’re well man— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) August 14, 2019
"But having a breast care nurse there, having that support she could ask a thousand questions and the nurse had all the answers.
"It allowed her to come home and be a wife, a mother and a friend.
"And that was the most important thing and that's the simplest view: it allowed her to be her."
McGrath and Strauss have shared their stories in the hope of building awareness and funds for their respective causes, and to improve the quality of life of those suffering from cancer.
While Strauss and McGrath were contrasting players on the field, the former England captain hopes to replicate what his Ashes rival has achieved.
"It's year one for us," Strauss said. "We're not expecting to be all singing, all dancing year one.
"But if we can in some way replicate what they (the McGrath Foundation) has done then I'll be very happy and I know Ruth will be looking down feeling very honoured, a bit embarrassed and very proud that we've been able to do something that really makes a difference.
"This isn't about her, it's about her experience and using it as a way to make something positive to come out of the situation."
People looking to donate to the Ruth Strauss Foundation can do it here.
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
England squad: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Chris Woakes.
First Test: Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston
Second Test: August 14-18,Lord's
Third Test: August 22-26, Headingley
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval