Dudley Park local Sandie Bentley in talks to partner with MANPAC to create art and raise money for Peel Youth Medical Service

APPRECIATION: Sandie Bentley says her doctors are the reason she's still here, and that she wants to support the work they will do for others in the future. Photos: Supplied.
APPRECIATION: Sandie Bentley says her doctors are the reason she's still here, and that she wants to support the work they will do for others in the future. Photos: Supplied.

Dudley Park resident Sandie Bentley has been through a lot of big, life-altering experiences in the past decade.

Surviving endometrial metastatic cancer, undergoing serious brain surgery and struggling with her mental health are just a few of the obstacles she has had to face while juggling the other facets of everyday life.

Despite all of this, Sandie found the time to sit down and write two children's books inspired by mental health - and is in talks to partner with the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre in 2022 for a project which will help her to give back to the health professionals who she said saved her life.

"My old GP works at Peel Youth Medical Service (PYMS) at the Health Hub. When he left the other surgery where I was seeing him, I thought 'I wish there was some way I could thank him' - and chocolates and wine wouldn't cut it," Sandie said.

When the written part of her books were finished, an idea sparked in Sandie's mind.

"I finished these two books and I thought - is there a way to create a project where the profits will go back to PYMS?

"I contacted a friend, RP van der Westhuizen, who got in touch with Mark Labrow from the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre - and Mark was really excited by the idea."

The project being devised by the team would involve local youths illustrating, editing, marketing and sharing ideas to complete the physical copies of Sandie's stories.

"When Mark was reading the stories he could see one of them, Franklin's terrible, wonderful day, even being turned into more of a performance piece that they could even take into schools to perform."

Franklin's terrible, wonderful day follows a young lion who is navigating mental health and friendship, while The problem with problems unpacks different feelings children can experience in a creative and compelling narrative.

Any profits and/or funds raised will be donated to PYMS, to help them in their work to do with the mental and physical health of local youth.

"Both my old GP and current GP work at PYMS and they are particularly passionate about mental health which they say is a huge issue among our youth.

"They are very much the types of people who like sitting in the background and not taking accolades."

The team are aiming to start the workshops around February, and Sandie said it would be a "lengthy project" where youth would be given the chance to contribute in a big way.

"It's giving the youth the chance to do something amazing on mental health that's going to help people and also make them feel accomplished. They can step back and say 'we've done all of these things in the process' - I want them to be a part of that."

Sandie is preparing for another spinal fusion, and said she was grateful that she could be a part of the project while also taking time to heal.

"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my doctors. The work that they do is so important."