Suf­ferer joins can­cer bat­tle

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By CAITLIN TILLER

THREE years ago, Pauline Gately found out she had stage two breast can­cer two days be­fore her daugh­ter’s 10th birth­day.

“One of the big­gest con­cerns was fig­ur­ing out how to tell my daugh­ter I had breast can­cer,” Ms Gately said.

“I can hon­estly say I’ve never felt more alone than those first few min­utes af­ter re­ceiv­ing the news.

“I went through six surg­eries, I had a re­con­struc­tive bi-lat­eral mas­tec­tomy, chemo­ther­apy and I take med­i­ca­tion ev­ery day for five years – one doesn’t get the all­clear from breast can­cer for a long time.”

Now on the Breast Can­cer Care WA (BCCWA) board, Ms Gately said she did not know what help was avail­able un­til her sec­ond-last surgery.

“I wish I’d known about BCCWA ear­lier – it’s the coun­selling, the sup­port groups, the help to do house­work and help to pay util­ity bills,” she said.

“From the mo­ment you’re di­ag­nosed, the med­i­cal care is so well taken care of and each per­son’s can­cer jour­ney de­vel­ops in a dif­fer­ent way, but for many fam­i­lies, the med­i­cal and emo­tional tur­moil means they can’t put Christ­mas presents un­der the tree.”

A real es­tate agent from Sor­rento, Ms Gately said she could not drive for 3-4 weeks af­ter her dou­ble mas­tec­tomy.

“I had to de­pend on the kind­ness of other mums to get my daugh­ter to school and back and things like shop­ping were dif­fi­cult,” she said.

“I feel in­cred­i­bly priv­i­leged to be part of the or­gan­i­sa­tion - the work they do is sim­ply amaz­ing.

“They don’t get gov­ern­ment fund­ing, they’re a small team and that steeled my re­solve to get the word out there.”

BCCWA will host its first Spring Day at the Races fundraiser event at As­cot Race­course on Novem­ber 14.

Tick­ets in­clude canapés, fash­ions on the field, race books, cham­pagne, ac­cess to raf­fles and a silent auc­tion.

Visit http://www.try­book­ing.com/Book­ing/Book­ingEven­tSum­mary.aspx?eid=155 538 for de­tails.

Pauline Gately with race­horse Scenic Lord at As­cot Race­course.

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