“Nothing ever goes to plan”
Radio host Bianca Dye has never shied away from expressing herself. She talks to Stellar about health, anxiety – and her IVF journey
Radio host Bianca Dye gets real about her battles with anxiety, ongoing efforts to have children and why she’s never been afraid to speak her mind.
t’s hardly surprising that someone who makes a living from being chirpy at the crack of dawn is easy to talk to. Not quite as predictably, radio host Bianca Dye is completely unfiltered when she jumps on the phone with Stellar. Less than three minutes into the chat, Dye, 45, is explaining she’s feeling a little unwell due to medication she’s taking to help treat and reduce her adenomyosis, a condition where endometrial cells that usually make up the lining of the uterus grow into the uterine muscle.
The radio veteran was diagnosed with endometriosis several years ago, and during treatment for that condition, her adenomyosis was discovered. “It’s been quite a journey. I didn’t even know I had it – I didn’t even know how to pronounce it five years ago,” she says.
Dye is renowned for making listeners feel like she’s a good friend – these days, as part of the breakfast team on 97.3FM in Brisbane – and it’s a testament to her talent as a host that Dye’s straight-talking manner feels completely natural both off air and on it.
It is, quite literally, a dream job. “I’ve had vision boards my whole life,” she says of collages she has made of pictures that represent life goals. “I actually put my head on the body of a Brisbane radio announcer – I ended up getting a job in Brisbane. It’s terrifying how powerful vision boards can be.”
Not all her life goals have jumped off the vision board. Dye has been open about her struggles to conceive, the rigours of her IVF treatment and two miscarriages she had while in a previous relationship. Treating her adenomyosis is a prelude to once again
“You stop complaining [about IVF] because you realise the journey is one that so many women are on”
trying to conceive, this time with new partner Jay Sandtner, who she met late last year through a dating app. Sandtner, 43, has four children from previous relationships: Jake, 25, Josh, 21, Zac, 19, and Madison, four.
Dye is enjoying getting to know his family, and later this year the couple will undergo further IVF treatment with eggs she had frozen at 40 – even though it’s a process Dye knows can be emotionally and physically taxing.
“I just want to know that I gave it everything that I had,” she says. “Thank god I had the foresight; I have 13 frozen eggs. So those little f*ckers are on ice until my doctor thinks that my adenomyosis has shrunk sufficiently, and I think I’m on my last needle now. I’m like a pin cushion, but any woman who does IVF knows that. You stop complaining after a while because you realise the journey is one that so many other women are on, hence why I have shared it so publicly.”
Even so, Dye is keen to make younger women, who might not be actively thinking about their fertility, aware of their options while they still have time. “So many of them are coming to me going, ‘I’m 31 and my partner has just broken up with me, and I’m on Tinder. Should I wait?’ And I’m like, ‘Do not wait – freeze the bloody [eggs] for god’s sake.’” She penned a column about this very issue four years ago, urging RickiLee Coulter to consider this course of action after the singer declared in an interview that she didn’t want children.
Dye admits her plea to Coulter, citing her own experience of changing her mind about wanting children, provoked a mixed response – including a retort from Coulter that it was her decision to remain child-free and something “nobody can question” – but stands by the sentiment. “Yes I copped it, but I still managed to get my message out there, which was, ‘Ricki, I adore you, but what if you change your mind?’” she says. “It was a forum to say if you’re like Ricki-lee and you think you don’t want to have a baby, I want you to all know nothing ever goes to plan, and wouldn’t it be better if you have some little eggs frozen just in case?”
She’s just as vocal about her struggles with mental health. Five years ago, Dye started the Instagram account @anxietyfree, initially anonymously. Now, she is openly associated with the page, and posts about her anxiety and panic attacks on her own social media accounts as well. “I’ve had anxiety my whole life, and it went undiagnosed until I was about 30. I went to the doctor, I had lots of therapy and they said I had generalised anxiety disorder. That’s why I talk about it, because a lot of people think they’re going crazy, and [I want to] help end stigma. I’ve been very passionate about that. The worry of talking about it is that people are going to go, ‘Don’t hire them, they’re unstable.’ Uh, I’ve got news for you, we’re all unstable,” she says with a laugh. “There’s just those who choose to talk about it or not.”
It seems that Dye’s decision to live life as an open book is paying off, both on the work and home front, with Sandtner by her side. “He’s a good egg. Both of us feel really – I hate saying hashtag blessed – but we actually do. We sit there and think about our past lives, [which has] led us to right now, where we are. We’re late bloomers, and I’ve always been a late bloomer in life – with having babies, with my dream job and it’s like, finally, I get the recognition that I feel I deserve. It just happened late.” Bianca, Mike & Bob airs weekdays from 5.30am on Brisbane’s 97.3FM, or can be heard anytime on the iheartradio app.
“I’ve had anxiety my whole life, and it went undiagnosed until I was 30”
BIANCA Acne coat, au; com.au; Acne MSGM acnestudios.com/ Studios Studios (opposite) WEARS shirt, trench shirt myer. and Marni pants, necklace, as before; (02) Christian 9327 Louboutin 3809; shoes, (02) 8355 5282 (right, from top) Bianca Dye with Molly Meldrum at a launch party in Kings Cross in 2004; with her partner Jay Sandtner in July.