MEET OUR MUM OF THE YEAR
MEET OUR 2016 MUM OF THE YEAR, Farrah Millar
An inspiring story from a mum who went above and beyond for her family and community
Children are the best distraction. Seeing them makes me forget what’s going on
Farrah, 37, was diagnosed with breast cancer 18 hours after giving birth, and is using her story to encourage all women to self-check their breasts
Farrah had always dreamed of having a family. After trying to conceive naturally, she and her partner turned to IVF but were sadly unsuccessful. Facing the realisation that having a biological child might not be an option, the pair applied to become foster parents, but were turned down because they had no experience. Remarkably, after these frustrating and heart-breaking setbacks, Farrah fell pregnant naturally with her daughter, Lehnae, and soon after added to her family with son, Rhylan, born earlier this year.
Just as Farrah was given the family she had always dreamed of, she was dealt a blow while still recovering from her labour. Only 18 hours after the birth of her son, Farrah was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. Refusing to let the disease get the better of her, she wanted to focus all her efforts on being the best mum to her young children, as well as seeking treatment for the disease. “Having children is the best distraction. I have to get up and look after them. Seeing their little faces makes me forget what is really going on,” she says.
To document her journey, and keep her concerned family and friends up to date with her treatment, Farrah created a Facebook group called #FarrahsArmy, which detailed her experiences and thoughts and advocated for other women to get their breasts checked regularly. After an article about her group was published online, Farrah has seen a steady increase of women who have joined the group to seek her advice and give their support online. Farrah was shocked and delighted to have been selected as the 2016 Mum of the Year. “To have been crowned Mum of the Year by Mother & Baby is indescribable, especially considering I’ve done nothing but second guess my ‘mumming’ abilities since Rhylan came along and I was thrown into the cancer sphere!” she says. “In fact, any mother who goes above and beyond on a daily basis, whether giving up her free chocolate with her soy chai to her
toddler, or forgoing a shower in the evening to make sure the washing is done so her son has footy shorts the next day – every Mum who her puts her children first and herself second is a Mum of the Year in my eyes.”
As part of her prize, Farrah has won a $5000 gift certificate from Babies”R”Us for her children, which she requested be split evenly between herself and the four other finalists. “Honestly, I am so honoured and grateful. I was blown away by the love and devotion exhibited in each of the other finalists. In my eyes we are all Mum of the Year – especially to our children. Christmas is not far away and with my children celebrating their birthdays early next year, I can’t wait to buy them each something special with the voucher,” she says. “It’s such a generous prize and I’m so grateful
I could not have survived without my family’s love
to Mother & Baby and Babies”R”Us for making it available to myself and the four other families. I hope they all have a wonderful Christmas, too!”
As part of her treatment, Farrah is about to undergo a double mastectomy to give her the best chance at beating the cancer. “I could not have survived the past five months without the love and support of my amazing friends and family. I’ve received so many thoughtful and useful gifts! My mother and sister have especially put themselves out to be here for me regardless of the distance between us, and my friend Caroline has been instrumental in helping me fill my freezer with meals, get fundraising underway and get all my chores done. Another friend, Ellen, started a Go Fund Me page to help me with all the extra expenses and I’m so grateful to everyone who has donated. Even complete strangers have contacted me through the #FarrahsArmy page to leave a kind word, donate meals and give me chemo-friendly gift packs filled with lollies, lotions and warm socks. There are not enough words for me to thank all of the people who have been there for me, as well as Mother &
Baby magazine for the generous prize. I wouldn’t even know where to start.”