Bronwyn, VIC – Without research this vision cannot become a reality

December 7th, 2014

I am a mother to two daughters Isabella, nine, and Mae, three and a son Sebastian, six, and daughter to one brave, breast cancer fighting warrior, Wendy Mattern.

My mum was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer four years ago. A terminal diagnosis with so many unknowns. Only one known; that eventually breast cancer will take her life.

The journey has posed many challenges for her; her relationships with my father, my sister, me, her friends and her relationship with life and how to lead a fulfilling life with a death sentence hanging over her. She has readjusted her thinking, as she’s had no choice. She’s tried to take each day as it comes, but it has been an ongoing challenge for all of us.

We’ve been lucky to have had the time to say many things to each other and share many special times together. We make every moment count. She doesn’t sweat the small stuff and enjoys her grandchildren immensely.

Mum and I share a vision for a breast cancer free future, where her granddaughters (my daughters) won’t need to worry about getting breast cancer. Without research this vision can’t become a reality, so two years ago I made the choice to channel much energy into doing my bit to help change the future by fundraising with the National Breast Cancer Foundation. It gives mum and me something positive to focus on and we have shared two Mothers’ Day Classics, where I’ve pushed mum in a wheelchair around the Melbourne track, garnering financial support from friends and family.

Mum has also supported my efforts in creating a Pink Friday fundraiser at my children’s school, where I’ve discovered a supportive community touched by breast cancer. The school turns pink for a day and we have a pink market selling all manner of pink treats. With the Mother’s Day Classic and Pink Friday, I’ve raised over $13,000 for NBCF and as always mum has been my number one supporter, cheering me on and encouraging me.

Mum and women like mum with a terminal diagnosis are partly the forgotten ones because not every shade of pink has a happy ending. The need for support for this group of women emotionally and socially is paramount and unfortunately mum’s group, the Advanced Breast Cancer Group (a Queensland based organization) has had their funding cut. This means by the end of this year the group may no longer be able to carry on the amazing work they do.

I can’t imagine my life without mum in it. She’s an amazing person and she’s had a huge influence on my life. When it’s her time she will certainly leave a legacy and never be forgotten. She touches every person she meets and is so well loved. This journey we share together has strengthened our bond and our family’s bond. She is an inspiration.