Melissa Hollman – Best Friend – 23 – High School Teacher 


Our friendship began on Christmas Eve 2009 at Coles, Grand Central. I was tasked with taking down the Christmas decorations and anyone who is 5” nothing knows the short people problems I faced. Jake, being the kind, considerate, TALL person he is, came over to help. In my usual smooth fashion I blurted out, “Wow, you’re so tall”. Apparently it worked because Jake still says, “It was the best Christmas Eve I’ve ever had”. From that day forward at work, we giggled and chatted like the school kids we were, helping each other on checkouts and during stocktakes. Our friendship quickly extended beyond the walls of Coles and continued to strengthen over the years. In January 2012, I moved to Brisbane to work part time and study a double degree in Exercise and Movement Science and Secondary Education while Jake remained in Toowoomba to work full time. The distance and our busy lifestyles prevented regular catch-ups but we always maintained contact. The turning point was Jake’s diagnosis in December 2012 which saw me right back at his side, emotionally and physically.

Jakey is one of the strongest and most inspirational people I have ever met. He is the definition of selfless and the best friend anyone could ever hope for. He has made me a better person. He is unbelievably kind and genuine and although our conversations generally consist of us paying each other out, we have a friendship that can and will withstand the toughest challenges. When Jake received the news that his options were limited, we called an emergency hos-hos-hang (hospital visit) to create the bucket list. I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to help him fulfil this list by shaving my head in 2016 to raise $10,000 for cancer research. We have now reached that goal and will be holding the final fundraiser on 1st May when Melissa will shave her head. Please click here for more details, including the raffle prizes up for grabs!

Melissa is the ultimate female best friend. Although our lives took completely different directions and I often joke about her ditching me, she is one of the most loyal people you will ever find. She always finds time for me and is always willing to help a friend in need. She is one person I feel really comfortable talking to about any situation, whether it being serious, having a laugh or dishing out verbal punishment. Having this girl by my side over these years has been nothing short of amazing – Jake Simpson