Sur­vivor fights back

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Breast Cancer - Emma Young

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.”

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