Survivor fights back
A SETBACK that would devastate some has not deterred Maylands' Skye Faithfull in her quest to help find a cure for breast cancer, even as she fights the disease at age 26.
Doctors diagnosed an aggressive tumour nine months ago and prescribed chemo, radio and hormone therapies, but thought removing the lump and her lymph nodes would suffice.
Now, they have discovered a gene mutation that puts her at a high risk of getting more cancers in her breasts, ovaries, intestines and pancreas.
“So obviously (I will have) the mastectomy straight away, and then probably in about 10 years, my ovaries out,” she said.
“You just have to monitor for all the other ones forever.”
Bored after putting her career as head chef at a Perth restaurant on hold, Ms Faithfull organised Treasured Chests at Perth Zoo in April, a cocktail function that raised more than $21,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF).
“I was still in chemo and a bit foggy, but we had more than 200 people attend,” she said.
“Everything ran really well.”
It must have; NBCF has now made her an official speaker.
Ms Faithfull will appear at major Perth fundraisers over the next year, including Global Illumination at Crown Perth in October, but plans no sob stories.
“I'd rather emphasise that if one person can raise $20,000, and one in eight people get diagnosed with this … we could probably up that effort and lessen that statistic,” she said.
Ms Faithfull said she was grateful for the chance to take positive action.
“It's not the end of the world,” she said.
“It is so much harder for my partner. He should get a medal. He would be the only thing that makes me tearup.
“Seeing the big picture can be hard sometimes, when you get in the frame of mind, ‘I don't want to be in hospital, I don't want to have my boobs removed, I don't want to be recovering’. But it's got to be done.
“You just have to deal with it.”