New mum faces can­cer bat­tle

Kalgoorlie Miner - - NEWS - Te­gan Guthrie

Be­com­ing a mum and be­ing di­ag­nosed with can­cer are two ma­jor life-chang­ing mo­ments — and 20-year-old Roberta Tay­lor is si­mul­ta­ne­ously tack­ling both.

Last month, at 35 weeks preg­nant, the Kal­go­or­lie woman re­ceived the dev­as­tat­ing news a lump be­hind her nose was can­cer­ous and had spread to her glands.

Fac­ing mul­ti­ple trips to Perth for treat­ment, ex­pen­sive med­i­cal bills and weeks of ac­com­mo­da­tion, Roberta started a Go­FundMe cam­paign to lessen the financial bur­den on her and part­ner Tai Brown.

About a week later, Roberta was in­duced for labour and baby Wil­liam Brown was born.

With her baby safe and healthy, doc­tors could fi­nally run all the tests needed to de­ter­mine the best treat­ment plan for Roberta.

In­stead of go­ing home and en­joy­ing all the cry­ing, laugh­ing and dirty nap­pies that come with be­ing a new mother, she had a sec­ond ob­sta­cle to over­come — ra­di­a­tion and chemo­ther­apy.

“All I wanted to do was be a mum,” Roberta said.

“It was re­ally over­whelm­ing, every­thing was just kind of flow­ing by me.

“It feels like my life has just been taken from un­der my feet and I fell, and now I just have to climb back up to the top.”

Since Wil­liam was born, the young fam­ily have spent no more than a few days at home and the rest of the time in Perth.

“We were only there for three or four days but he was home,” Roberta said.

“He got to lay in his cot and we got to en­joy that feel­ing where you’re in that lit­tle space and you’re a mum.”

Roberta is now in week two of her seven-week ra­di­a­tion treat­ment course and has had her mother and baby Wil­liam by her side ev­ery day.

“I know there are a lot of side ef­fects to the treat­ment and it is start­ing to hit me a bit now,” she said.

“To­day is the first day where I can feel my tongue is swollen and I am get­ting ul­cers in my mouth and my throat is a bit sore.

“Plus, be­ing a new mum, my hor­mones are all over the place and I still have baby brain, and then you get the emo­tional and phys­i­cal ef­fects of this can­cer and the treat­ment.”

Last week­end, Roberta’s doc­tor, Joanna Keen, helped co-or­di­nate a fundrais­ing high tea and silent auc­tion in sup­port of the fam­ily, which raised about $3000.

Dr Keen said about 60 peo­ple at­tended the event to show their sup­port for the fam­ily.

“Roberta is quite young, so a few of us de­cided to see what we could to do help, but I never ex­pected it to get as big as it did,” she said.

Com­bined with the $4000 do­nated to the Go­FundMe cam­paign, the com­mu­nity has helped do­nate $7000 to­wards med­i­cal bills, trans­port and ac­com­mo­da­tion.

Roberta said she was over- whelmed by the sup­port.

“I never thought this would be hap­pen­ing, ever, and for it to hap­pen and to have so much sup­port and peo­ple by my side, it re­ally shows how much life re­ally does mean to you,” she said.

“I just stay pos­i­tive and keep smil­ing ev­ery day and fight through it.

“I have my mo­ments where I break down and I get very emo­tional, but I have Wil­liam, so I know I am here for a rea­son.”

At the end of her first treat­ment course, Roberta will en­joy a three-week break be­fore head­ing back to Perth for a nine-week chemo­ther­apy and ra­di­a­tion course.

To do­nate to­wards Roberta’s cause, visit www.go­ and search for “Roberta Causer Tay­lor”.

Tai Brown and Roberta Tay­lor with baby Wil­liam Brown.

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