If ovarian cancer research was not so critically underfunded, my mum and many other women may still be here today. The grief of losing someone, let alone your mum, never leaves you.
Suzie Wright passed away from ovarian cancer in 2018 after a short battle with the disease, at only 49 years of age.
Throughout her impressive career as Digga Australia's CEO and Managing Director, Suzie was an inspiration to all for her strong leadership, dedication to her staff and her relentless support of Australian manufacturing. As head of a global company in a male dominated industry, Suzie inspired many women to join the industry and played a pivotal role in laying a solid foundation for the future growth of the company. Outside of work Suzie was just as energetic, enjoying days out on the water, driving V8 cars, wakeboarding and travelling.
Suzie will be remembered as the glue which held friendships together.
She left an indelible mark far beyond the boardroom on the many lives she touched. Her courage and determination inspired all.
Rest in peace, Suzie.
The following article was written after Suzie's passing for the Ovarian Cancer Socks campaign. This is her story.
It was the middle of a normal work week, two weeks after Suzie had been into hospital for suspected appendicitis, when Suzie got the call that more tests were needed.
At the age of 48, having taken over the helm of Digga Australia and achieved a multitude of gains for the company, Suzie was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her prognosis was poor. After years of vague symptoms and misfires, Suzie passed away only 15 months after her confirmed diagnosis at the age of 49. An outcome unfortunately all too common for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
"As CEO and Managing Director of Digga Australia, Suzie was an inspiration to women the world over."
As with any of the other challenges in her life, Suzie met her battle against ovarian cancer with the same unwavering resolve. "Cancer may have weakened her body, but her spirit remained stronger than ever," recalls a close colleague. Even as the disease took its toll, Suzie's determination to keep the company going from strength to strength remained steadfast, beginning succession planning and blueprints for Digga's future shortly after her diagnosis.
As CEO and Managing Director of Digga Australia, Suzie was an inspiration to women the world over. Playing a pivotal role in consolidating Digga's Australian operations, Suzie spearheaded the rescue and successful integration of Kanga Loaders into the business, established a large manufacturing plant in the US, and rebuilt the Queensland Head Office facility following a devastating factory fire in 2016. Passionate about Australian manufacturing, Suzie established the company in its strongest position and laid a solid foundation for the future.
"If ovarian cancer research was not so critically underfunded, my mum and many other women may still be here today. The grief of losing someone, let alone your mum, never leaves you, and to play a part in what the future landscape could look for ovarian cancer is so important."
Every Woman. Everywhere. Free from the Threat of Ovarian Cancer.
Since the devastating loss of Suzie, Digga Australia has raised over $350,000 to-date for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) with the goal of increasing the very low survival rates for women diagnosed with this cancer and, in 2023, launched the annual Ovarian Cancer Socks fundraiser in honour of Suzie in the hopes of bringing greater support and awareness to the cause.
This heartwarming initiative features Suzie's daughter, Zoe Conde, as the inaugural Guest Designer with her feature sock design (a loving tribute to her late mother) incorporating a striking, red-haired Suzie surrounded by her favourite flower, the lily, and two graceful birds in flight that represent the concept of freedom at the heart of the campaign to see, ‘Every woman. Everywhere. Free from the threat of ovarian cancer.’
"If ovarian cancer research was not so critically underfunded, my mum and many other women may still be here today. The grief of losing someone, let alone your mum, never leaves you, and to play a part in what the future landscape could look for ovarian cancer is so important. Think about a mum, aunt, sister, daughter or friend in your life and fight for them and their future by supporting this initiative - purchase a boxed set or two and help us promote the campaign so that, together, we can create better outcomes for women."
In honour of women like Suzie who have lost their lives to ovarian cancer, please consider supporting Ovarian Cancer Socks and help fund critical cancer research so that diagnosis is no longer a death sentence for those who develop the disease.