Friends to the rescue

November 25, 2017

The best of the Benalla community has been on show recently, helping a young cafe owner recover from brain surgery.

One Wild Apple cafe owner Shannon Tharratt went under the knife at a Melbourne hospital last month to remove a benign tumour growth through brain surgery.

A benign tumour is similar to a malignant tumour, but is not cancerous. It does not invade nearby tissue or spread to other parts of the body the way cancer can.

Ms Tharratt, 20, said at first she worried the cafe would have to be closed down while she recovered from the surgery, which would mean no business during that time.

‘‘I was worried when I found out that I had to have surgery initially, because I wasn’t sure if the cafe would be able to stay open if I wasn’t there for a while,’’ Ms Tharratt said.

‘‘I was speechless when so many people wanted to help keep things running. I honestly couldn’t believe how kind people were.

‘‘Offering to help at the cafe, bringing me flowers — just all sorts of things.’’

From friends and family to regular customers at the cafe, everyone pitched in to help keep One Wild Apple running for a number of weeks while Ms Tharratt recovered at home in Benalla. Ellen James, a friend and helper who kept things running smoothly, said it was easy to offer help to someone who does so much for others.

‘‘Shan is just this beautiful genuine little thing that puts 110 per cent into anything she puts her time into,’’ Ms James said.

‘‘So it’s a bit hard to not put your hand up to help her wherever you can.

‘‘She is a friend to everyone, but it has definitely been a team effort to help keep things going.

‘‘She does so many extra-curricular activities outside of work that benefits a lot of people.’’

After weeks of recovering at home, Ms Tharratt returned to work for a short stint last Friday, and said she hoped to return to work more frequently this week.

Along with the surgery and recovery Ms Tharratt has endured, she now plans to shave her head in the World’s Greatest Shave event, which aims to raise money for blood cancer research.

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