Three shades of gold ribbon were used to represent Richard’s daughters in his portrait. The ribbonswere wound around his chest to symbolize the enormity of his love for them, the connection and bond - and how their lives have been more intricately woven together after their mother died. His stance is direct and strong - symbolic of his strength and courage.
“Open your eyes and look within, are you satisfied with the life you are living.” – Bob Marley
“Suck it Up Princess.” – Richard Laskey
“Don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing is going to be alright.” – Bob Marley
Richard Laskey is Sales and Advertising Director for Modern Athlete and Choc Ambassador (one of the founding Cows).
He is father to three young girls - Tanika, Skyla and Maddison.
They were just eight, six and two when their mother Melanie died from Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma
(ACC) – on 12 October 2010, just three days before her 37th birthday.
ACC is a rare disease. It’s caused by a cancerous growth in the adrenal cortex, which is the outer
layer of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands lie on top of the kidneys.
Melanie’s 4kg tumor was removed after a complicated highly specialised16 hour surgery - at the time she was one of 37 people in the world to have developed this illness.
Recognising she may not make her birthday and being the type of people to celebrate life, Richard and Melanie threw a massive party just days before her body gave in and she passed away peacefully surrounded by her husband and girls.
Friends are the support system that carried him during the dark days after Melanie passed.
He is very close to his girls and sees it as a privilege to take his daughter shopping for her Deb’s ball
dress – something he would not ordinarily have had the opportunity to do.
“You can choose to be sad or you can choose to be happy” is a belief Richard firmly stands by. It’salways about choices and he has chosen to live a life of significance dedicating much of his time to
“There are a few things in life that are fixed and certain: The sun rises and sets every day, there is a
higher being and we are all going to die someday. So the rest is up to us to ensure that we do our
best with each moment that we have.”
To succinctly summarise this story - despite walking a long and exacting road with his wife Melanie,
who ultimately succumbed to her cancer just before her 37th birthday, Richard Laskey is a man who has chosen to embrace his role as both mom and dad to his three precious girls who were just eight, six and two when they lost their mother. While the pain and grief had the potential to engulf Richard, instead of focusing on his loss he chose to put his pain to work for the good of others. He is a founderof the “Cows initiative” that fundraises for CHOC and since 2008 has collectively helped raise R38m by participating in sporting events in a cow suit. Although he describes himself as stubborn - Richard is a man who is full of determination and not one to give up. He is realistic about the realities of life and death and believes life is full choices - but ultimately it’s a gift. He always has a ready smile and intentionally lives a life that’s full of meaning, significance and is focused on making a difference.