Give and get | PERSONAL STORY

I give back because I know what it’s like to get. And by get, I don’t always mean the good.

My mother Annie was diagnosed with breast cancer before I could walk. As soon as I was opening a new chapter of my life at primary school, her book came to an end.

Five years was all I got with her. My brother Hugh only got six. But to this day, I have still never seen somebody fight like she did.

She was a nurse, so seeing her swap positions and become the patient was horrible. I’ll always remember her flying up to Melbourne for ‘special trips’ to get chemo and every time she’d leave it would break my heart.

After her passing, my dad Jim, along with the support of my extended family and greater community of Edenhope, raised us to be the people we are today. And for that, we are forever grateful.

Everybody needs inspiration in life – a beacon of light or simply someone to push you to be your best. My aunty Trisha overcame her cancer and my aunty Colleen had a mastectomy. Only recently my cousin Megan made the brave decision to get a mastectomy after getting the news that she too had it.

It goes without saying that without the guidance, resources and knowledge from BCNA, their journeys may have played out differently.

Volunteering at BCNA has given me the opportunity to give back to the network that gave so much to my family and families around Australia. I get to thank people who make donations, however great or small, and connect with men and women who have been affected by breast cancer.

It’s really refreshing and reassuring to have a conversation with those out there who are going through difficult times. And working alongside the staff in Camberwell is a great opportunity to see how a motivated team of people come together to achieve a variety of goals for a great network.

Claire, VIC



Issue 81
Summer 2017