Breana’s Homage to Cancer Research

My name is Breana. Just shy of my fourth birthday, in 1994, I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL).

The day I was diagnosed I was immediately flown from Canberra to Sydney to begin treatment. The next two and half years were a flurry of many rounds of chemotherapy, countless blood tests, lumbar punctures, and bone marrow biopsies. I was given steroid treatments as well as any number of supporting medications. I lost my hair. But finally, I was considered in remission.

I had missed attending pre−school, kindergarten and almost the entire first grade, but thanks to my team of doctors, nurses and my parents who fought for me the entire time, I was alive. I am one of the ‘lucky ones’. I am a survivor!

Today, at 28 years old, I’m living the best life I can. Although I live with some long-term side effects of my treatment, I have been lucky enough to live a life without relapse. Many are not as lucky, and that is why I will be fronting up and shaving off my locks!

I chose to fundraise for Australian Cancer Research Foundation because they have a wider reach than just one of cancer. But it’s also a homage to my own cancer journey, when losing my hair was beyond my control.

Cancer has affected many aspects of my life, not only on a personal level, but also affecting my family and friends. I have had many loved ones diagnosed with this horrible disease, and whilst some of them have made it through early intervention or diagnosis many have not. More can be done, I believe, to help fund research and treatments so that families can have their loved ones come home.

Research is a vital part of tackling cancer in all forms. Knowledge is power.