I had never heard of Cure Cancer until I received an email one day and it was about the trek up Kilimanjaro to raise funds for research and there was one place left. I remember seeing it and I had a pang, oh, I would love to do that, I have always wanted to go to Africa and how awesome would it be to climb Mt Kilimanjaro?


Then I started reading more about Cure Cancer Australia and went, yep, yep, yep. What really attracts me to Cure Cancer is their focus on research, that is really important to me, that we keep focusing on that. I also like the concept of them funding young researchers and researchers who think outside the mainstream, outside the box.


I have this sense of, can you imagine if that one in a million idea turned out to be the missing link for Cure Cancer? So many people are funnelling money into established older researchers who may have been on the same track for 30 years and they might be not be far off finding the cure or they might be totally on the wrong track.


I have first-hand seen the difference that research can make. In three generations, I went from my grandmother who just had her breasts cut off, no, that’s it, there is no other option, cut your breasts off and she still died.


I saw my mother go through two mastectomies in the end, she had a lumpectomy and then a single mastectomy and then when they found cancer again she had another mastectomy and then died. But I saw what she went through in terms of, she basically had a concave chest with a railway track across it. It was just hideous. The scars across her chest were so ugly. Then she had prosthetics inside her bra. In terms of still feeling like a woman and that you are not a victim of breast cancer, it was just hideous, absolutely hideous.



Then to see the difference between her and myself and go, wow, that was not even an option, that would never have happened to me. What happened to my mum, I can’t imagine any surgeon getting away with doing that today. The research has produced the technology to identify cancer at the earlier stages and in treating the cancer, not just in terms of the chemo and the radiation, but also aesthetically, to have reconstructive surgeons so skilled now at mastectomies and reconstructions post-mastectomies, just wasn’t an option for my grandmother and my mother.


In three generations, to be the first woman to survive cancer, and survive it and still feel like a woman is amazing but also it is about the future and the hope that my daughter will not have to go through what I went through. That it will be even better for her, and even better for her daughters and will get to a point where this is a vaccine or an instant cure, whatever the answer is, that it has become less and less from my grandmother through to me, with research.


Research is the only way to keep that momentum, to make sure that we don’t stop so my experience, which I think was pretty great, is not the best that we get. It is only through research that we can keep that momentum and make sure that even though we have come such a long way, there is still a long, long way to go.


Until we have a cure we can’t stop. We can’t rest on our laurels and say, isn’t it great? Aren’t you lucky? Look at what your grandmother’s experience was and look at what your experience was? Isn’t that fantastic? Haven’t we done a great job? That is true but there is still a long way to go.


What is my daughter’s experience going to be? What is her daughter’s experience going to be? It is so important because until there is a cure we haven’t done the job, we haven’t finished.


I am a good news story. There are so many women out there still dying, there are mums, kids losing their mums still, it is just not enough, we need to keep the momentum going and that is why it is so important.




Cure Cancer Australia’s single focus is to find a cure for cancer. Our Vision is a world without cancer, nothing less. Our Mission to champion innovative young researchers in their quest to cure cancer. $50 funds one hour, $1,900 funds one week, $8,300 funds one month and $100,000 funds one year of vital cancer research. Since 1967, our focus has been on the cure, not the type of cancer. We are one of the few Australian charities seeking to find a cure for all cancers. We have channelled close to $20 million in the form of grants to 460 extraordinary Australians who rely on our independent funding to investigate potential breakthroughs for a cure for cancer.


Organisation Details
PO Box R185, Royal Exchange, NSW 1225
Contact details: 

+61 2 8072 6188