In January 2014, we heard the news that no new parents would ever want to hear – Rachelle, who had just given birth to our gorgeous son less than 6 weeks earlier had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Cancer is sadly not a stranger to our family, but without any family history of breast cancer within Rachelle’s extended family, this diagnosis completely rocked our worlds.
We are so grateful for all the people who stepped up to help our family during that very difficult time and supporting us every day since then.
Now it’s time to take our lives back and to help other women and their families and loved ones. Ken and Rachelle aim to raise $20 000 over the next 12 months in undertaking the Camino and joining So Brave’s Team Camino.
We know first hand what a difference this funding will make. Rachelle founded So Brave because she knew that young women need to know the risks, they need to be breast aware, but more importantly, young women who are facing a breast cancer diagnosis need to know that they are not alone. So Brave has transformed dozens of young women diagnosed with breast cancer before they are 40 years old. We have held scores of events across the country and through our events, Calendar, media articles and social media presence, we have met thousands of women – this is how we are going to make a difference – in sharing our stories to raise awareness and sharing how young women can become their own best health advocates and become breast aware.
We are also so inspired to directly fund breast cancer research through our activities – funding research that better diagnoses, prevents, treats and monitors breast cancer particularly in young women.
Why do we need to fund this research?
We need better tools for diagnosis:
Young women do not have access to regular mammogram screening programs – due to their dense breast tissue and the age limits of the brilliant Breast Screening programs. We need better ways to diagnose and educate young women – within the population of young women knowing how to check and doing this regularly and also within the medical community supporting young women to do their checks, getting scans and follow up when something unusual presents itself and promoting high risk subsidised treatments such as MRI screening and BRCA testing.
We need better prevention mechanisms:
Better understanding of breast cancer will change the power dynamic of breast cancer and potentially many other cancers. We know that breast cancer doesn’t discriminate so we need to find out what are the triggers that create breast cancer in some women and not others. We also need to educate young women that risk profiles and understanding your family history is very important but it is not the whole picture. Women without family histories are also at risk of breast cancer, and women aged in the 20s and 30s are also at risk of breast cancer. These are incredibly important messages as this is often misunderstood in the community.
We need better treatment:
Young women facing breast cancer often face lengthy and life-changing treatment from hormone to immunotherapy, from chemotherapy and radiotherapy and a multitude of testing and surgeries. All of these treatments have significant impacts on young women and their families. Better understanding, reducing the impact of these treatments and better treatments to stop breast cancer advancing are vital to saving lives – particularly in young women who are at higher risks of recurrence and lower survival rates.
We need better monitoring.
Because at the moment, unless there are significant symptoms that appear following initial treatment, there is no easy way for specialists to intervene should a recurrence present. We need to get to the root cause of how this disease is working and detecting it at a much much more manageable level. This will help initial diagnostics as well and also lead to better focus on what treatments we need to be developing to stop cancer advancing.
We are so excited to get to Spain and do this amazing trek…. and we are so grateful already for your support in reaching our fundraising goal!!