Shona’s breast can­cer bat­tle


‘‘I've got amaz­ing friends and fam­ily sup­port. It makes me feel spe­cial that the fam­ily are there to sup­port me in this way.’’

It will be a bit­ter­sweet mo­ment when Shona Kel­way walks the sur­vivor’s lap at the Can­cer So­ci­ety’s Re­lay for Life.

Her hus­band Howard will be join­ing her, but un­for­tu­nately, three mem­bers of their fam­ily will not be able to take part in the sur­vivor’s lap. They will be cel­e­brated dur­ing the re­mem­brance cer­e­mony.

Kel­way was di­ag­nosed with breast can­cer in July, and had her last chemo­ther­apy treat­ment on Fri­day. Her can­cer was the lat­est in a string of her fam­ily mem­bers be­ing struck by the dis­ease.

Can­cer en­tered her fam­ily in the 1980s when her 15-year-old nephew died from leukaemia. This was fol­lowed by her sis­ter beat­ing breast can­cer, her hus­band bat­tling tes­tic­u­lar can­cer, a cousin liv­ing with liver can­cer, and sadly, her mother and fa­therin-law both pass­ing from lung can­cer.

The 53-year-old from Puni had a bi­lat­eral mas­tec­tomy in Septem­ber and chemo­ther­apy started be­fore Christ­mas. She hopes to have a re­con­struc­tion surgery this month, with ra­di­a­tion be­gin­ning in April.

She and her fam­ily will be tak­ing part in the Can­cer So­ci­ety’s Re­lay for Life at the Pukekohe Show­grounds on April 1-2, in a bid to re­mem­ber lives lost, and those who have bat­tled, or are bat­tling can­cer. The name of the fam­ily’s group is BeOr­sum McCor­sums, hark­ing back to Kel­way’s maiden name, McCort.

It was her cousin’s idea to take part in the event, in a bid to sup­port Kel­way. She said the event would be a great way to pay trib­ute to those lost, and sup­port peo­ple go­ing through their treat­ment.

‘‘It’s about re­mem­ber­ing peo­ple that were lost and sup­port­ing peo­ple who are go­ing through the jour­ney of can­cer. I’ve got amaz­ing friends and fam­ily sup­port. It makes me feel spe­cial that the fam­ily are there to sup­port me in this way.’’

She said it was im­por­tant for all women to check their breasts for lumps and ab­nor­mal­i­ties fre­quently.

If you would like to do­nate to the BeOr­sum McOr­sums team, go to every­day­ and search the team’s name.


Shona Kel­way knows all too well how can­cer can af­fect a fam­ily. This photo was taken be­fore her chemo­ther­apy treat­ment be­gan.

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