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 everydayhero.com/nz/ 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.