Kate has personally been affected by cancer as both a survivor and carer. This is just part of her amazing story
I Relay because I want to help find the cure for cancer.
My name is Kate and I have been touched by cancer on more than one occasion. I first heard the word "cancer" when my paternal uncle was diagnosed with melanoma in 1985. I was five years old. After a short battle he unfortunately passed away in February 1986. I loved my Uncle Barry and I knew cancer was bad.
In June 2008, I myself was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer at the age of 27. I was happily married to my husband Bob, and was busy working as a hairdresser. I was also a mum to two beautiful girls; Breeanna was aged three and Gemma had just turned one. My world was turned upside down.
All I knew of cancer was that my uncle had it and he died, so my diagnosis left me scared and feeling very alone. I fought, and I fought hard! I had the works: surgery, chemo, and radiation as well as other treatments.
I fought the battle and I won, but cancer was about to rear its ugly head again. In June 2012 my maternal Grandmother was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Unfortunately she lost her battle five weeks after diagnosis. One month later my husband Bob was diagnosed with renal cancer. Again our lives were turned upside down. We went through treatment and were determined to win this battle too. We did! Another paternal Uncle was also diagnosed with renal cancer in 2014 and this year we lost my father in law to prostate cancer.
So as you can see, cancer is something that surrounds us.
I have fought my own battle but I have also had to watch family and friends come and go. I first Relayed in Ballarat where I currently live in 2010. My chemo buddy Tabitha invited me to come along and join her family team. I was hooked! I walked all night, I spoke to fellow cancer survivors and their families. I couldn't believe doing something as easy as walking could make such a difference in people's lives.
I have Relayed every year since, and sometimes twice a year, one in Ballarat and one in my hometown Sale where I’ve started a family team. Since starting my time Relaying I’ve had a hand in raising over $50,000. I love knowing I’m making a difference in the cancer world.
I have walked a road someone of my age shouldn't have had to do. But I am grateful to be a part of a pretty special club - the survivor club. I look at life differently, I enjoy every moment, and I look forward to Relay every single year - even the blisters I get from the continuous walking! It's such an amazing event and so simple to be apart of.
Together we can make a difference!