Antoinette's story

As a child, I survived a rare form of cancer (Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma X). Since then, I have participated in a few Relay for Life events this year I have founded a new team, the 'Skulk of Foxes'.

I was eight years of age when I was diagnosed with non-hodgkin lymphoma x. I was treated in Sydney Children's Hospital and traveled every few weeks with my mum for tests and treatment. I had several grueling rounds of chemo, but thankfully no radiation. To this day I can describe to you the hospital ward floor, the operating theatre, the MRI machines, the endless blood and lumbar puncture tests, and the smell of the chemo bags (which still makes my tummy weak). I had wonderful doctors and I pay homage to Professor O'Gorman Hughes, who passed in 2000.

As an adult, I still have biannual heart tests because part of my treatment involved a drug that can deteriorate heart muscles over time. I am pleased to say that all my tests to date have been normal. I also participate in a research study run by the Kids Cancer Centre. This study tracks childhood cancer survivors into adulthood. I hope that this research provides hope and guidance for future generations and families that may have to go through the same treatment.

I am the team captain for the Skulk of Foxes. It is good to belong to a group doing something positive for the local and larger community. I am privileged to be a survivor and I honor the people that have gone before me, especially my grandfather who I never got to meet, and those that are currently going through treatment. Those close to me know that I am a very private person, so sometimes it's hard to get me to share 'my story'. I relay to pay my respect and to say thank you to the Cancer Council, an organisation that provided support to myself and my family 27 years ago.