In the pink of health

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By MON­TANA ARDON

Dan Rohr, of Mos­man Park, is not afraid to wear pink.

The hus­band of breast cancer sur­vivor Ali­son Davis and fa­ther of three daugh­ters will wear pink for a day in June to sup­port the Real Men Wear Pink cam­paign to raise money and aware­ness for the Na­tional Breast Cancer Foun­da­tion. Ms Davis was di­ag­nosed with breast cancer soon af­ter her sis­ter. In the 12 months that fol­lowed, her aunty and three cousins were also di­ag­nosed.

The cou­ple share their story on

FOR Mos­man Park mother Ali­son Davis, her sis­ter’s breast cancer di­ag­no­sis po­ten­tially saved her life.

In early 2011, Ms Davis had just turned 40 and was busy rais­ing three young daugh­ters with hus­band Dan Rohr when their world was turned up­side down.

“My sis­ter’s breast cancer nurse rec­om­mended my other two sis­ters and I go and get mam­mo­grams,” she said.

“I took my then two-year-old along and just did it be­cause I thought I should.

“It turned out I had duc­tal car­ci­noma in situ (DCIS), which is a very early form of breast cancer.”

Shocked by the un­ex­pected di­ag­no­sis, Ms Davis un­der­went a dou­ble mas­tec­tomy soon af­ter.

“All of a sud­den I was madly re­search­ing the odds of hav­ing just one breast re­moved rather than two,” she said.

“But the an­swer was very clear to me. I couldn’t make risky de­ci­sions; I have young chil­dren.”

Ms Davis said what hap­pened af­ter shocked her whole fam­ily.

“In the next 12 months, my aunt and three cousins were also di­ag­nosed with breast cancer,” she said.

“We all had dif­fer­ent treat­ments – I was lucky I didn’t have to have che­mother­apy, but we all had dou­ble mas­tec­tomies.

“We had ge­netic test­ing done and it turns out we have a ge­netic ab­nor­mal­ity which is some­thing passed down in our case from fa­ther to daugh­ter.”

Mr Rohr de­scribed the di­ag­noses as “wreak­ing havoc on the fam­ily”.

“It has been hugely trau­matic; cancer is so bru­tal,” Mr Rohr said.

“You think it’ll never hap­pen to you be­cause we’re healthy, rel­a­tively young and never had any med­i­cal is­sues in ei­ther of our fam­i­lies.

“Then you get the phone call and it’s like you’ve been run over by a freight train.

“We are well aware that our three girls will po­ten­tially have to go through sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences, and it’s some­thing you wouldn’t wish on any­one.”

In sup­port of breast cancer re­search, Mr Rohr has teamed up with the Na­tional Breast Cancer Foun­da­tion (NBCF) for their Real Men Wear Pink cam­paign.

“The cam­paign is all about rais­ing money to help with breast cancer re­search, and just the leaps and bounds early de­tec­tion and treat­ment has im­proved in sav­ing and im­prov­ing the lives of those with breast cancer over the past 20 years,” he said.

“If you look for­ward over the next 20 years what could be pos­si­ble, hope­fully a cure isn’t out of the ques­tion.

“If Al’s sis­ter didn’t get picked up, she prob­a­bly wouldn’t have got picked up till much later and it may have been a much dif­fer­ent out­come.

“Luck­ily the tech­nol­ogy was good enough to de­tect it, be­cause 10 years ago it may not have been good enough and it may have sat in there for an­other cou­ple of years.”

Now in good health, Ms Davis shows her ap­pre­ci­a­tion to the NBCF by of­fer­ing her time as a speaker at events, as well as tak­ing part in fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d469492

Dan Rohr and Ali­son Davis.

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