Sadly my family is one that knows the devastating impact that cancer can have all too well. My Grandmother, Adele died from ovarian cancer when my mum was in her early twenties – I never knew her but she left her three kids behind.
I remember when I was fifteen, my aunty and Godmother, Lorraine, fighting her battle with breast cancer for years. It became aggressive and spread through her whole body. She died shortly after her 50th birthday.
A few years on, my mum’s youngest sister, Lynette, was also diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She fought hard and bravely but sadly lost her battle.
About a year after the passing of Lynette, my mum, Carolyn, was diagnosed with breast cancer. I can recall her telling me just before I was about to leave the house on a night out – I hugged her tight and she told me I couldn’t cry now because it would ruin my makeup. What made it all hit me like a freight train was when mum asked me to shave off the small spots of hair on her head that the hairdresser had missed. I remember thinking to myself “shit is getting real.”
Through all of this I have never watched three stronger women fight for their families, and to this day it still inspires me. Especially my mum, who was there for her mum and both of her sisters through it all. They couldn’t be here for my mum in return but mum handled it – going to family events with her headscarf on and being the absolute life of the party. At times it felt like mum was the only one who was coping with her being ill.
Then came radiation and chemotherapy treatment, along with having her ovaries removed, a double mastectomy and lymph glands removed under her arms. It was hard to watch mum go through all of this and not knowing how to help or support her. I couldn’t even imagine the toll it’s had on her physically and mentally – that’s why I’m running my first Half Marathon at the Carman’s Women’s Fun Run on December 2nd.
This year seemed like the perfect time to participate and help raise funds, as my sister Eliza and I will be having our BRCA gene tests later this month.
I want to help make a difference and honour all the women in my life, past and present. I want to be part of the future that used footsteps to help create change – to make the lives and the passings of the women in my life stand for something more than a disease, soon enough they’ll represent a cure.
To donate and help me reach my fundraising goals, please follow the link: https://carmanswfr2018.everydayhero.com/au/sophie