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June 11, 2015

Dr Kara Britt

“My mother’s breast cancer diagnosis with was a shock for the family. We did not expect to be touched by cancer so early.

kara_britt_padMy mother was only in her late 40’s when diagnosed with breast cancer. Watching our mother battle breast cancer, the surgery, the chemotherapy, the radiotherapy, and the nausea was a sad time for us all. However, whilst there were hard moments, where the treatment really knocked our poor mum for six, there were also moments of triumph.

Following treatment the years of remission kept increasing and for many years we thought we had won. The journey has touched us all, brought us closer as a family and taught us the importance of a positive outlook. Led by the strength of our amazing mother, we used chemotherapy sessions as a chance to enjoy longer family conversations with tea and cakes.

We got to know and appreciate the extraordinary nurses and together we learnt the cancer jargon. Then we looked on proudly as mum bravely wore her bald head with pride following her last chemo session, and looked amazing!

As mum walked through her journey we watched her become a strong, optimistic and positive woman in the face of this scary disease. She touched not just our lives with her renewed energy for life, but all those around her. Personally I used her journey to focus my studies towards breast cancer research.

After her diagnosis I enrolled in a PhD at Monash to learn how oestrogen could have so much control over our reproductive system. I then travelled abroad to study at the world’s only dedicated breast cancer research centre in London.

Now I work as a National Breast Cancer Foundation Fellow. My research focuses on trying to determine why bearing children can decrease your breast cancer risk. It is my hope this research in years to come will allow us to develop preventatives.

Sadly, my mother passed away in January 2010 from breast cancer. She fought all the way to the end. We have lost a best friend, but her spirit lives on in the positive outlook in all those that she touched and, for me, in the constant inspiration to make a difference.”