About this story
Melanie, Katie and Nicole all rely on running to manage their mental health while undergoing breast cancer treatment and during recovery.
They are all taking part in the Carman's Fun Run in 2024 to raise funds for BCNA.
I never saw it coming.
I was 33 years old, had no family history, and was fittest and healthiest I’d ever been – I had no real “qualifiers” as such.
But Cancer’s sneaky and doesn’t always care about your age, gender, lifestyle – or anything really.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2021 whilst living in London during the pandemic, and miles away from my family.
In a matter of minutes, I was thrown into a spiral of decisions I never thought I’d have to make.
Undergoing surgery, fertility preservation, three months of chemo and 24 rounds of radiotherapy while alone in hospital was extremely tough, but I was fortunate to have a partner at home and a golden retriever who gave me a reason to get out of bed.
Running and strength training throughout my treatment kept me sane – it helped me feel like I had control over my body and that I could still be strong, despite feeling anything but. With everything working against me – and still very much so, given the side effects of treatment and the forced menopause that comes with many breast cancer diagnoses – I continue to run and train both for my mental health but also to help manage the side effects, particularly as I’m on ongoing hormone treatment for the next ten years.
Participating in Carman’s Fun Run presents a new opportunity to realise what I’m capable of, all whilst helping to raise vital awareness for breast cancer and the work of BCNA. I’m running for me and for all the people who may be impacted by breast cancer, so they know what to look out for and that it can impact anyone. Get to know your normal and check yourself.
Sign up for Carman’s Fun Run today and start fundraising to support Mel and the thousands of Australians affected by breast cancer.
My Name is Katie, and I was diagnosed with hormone positive Stage 3B breast cancer in 2022, two days after my 27th birthday.
I found a small lump when I was trying on bathers before a holiday, but it felt too small to be anything. During a holiday in late January, I noticed it had grown and asked my partner Adam to make sure it wasn’t all in my head. He could feel it too and agreed I should get it checked when we came home.
When I had the lump checked by my GP, I was told: ‘you’re too young to have breast cancer, it’s probably all in your head.’ Safe to say, I didn’t see that doctor again when my results came back.
So far, I’ve completed 16 rounds of chemotherapy, had two mastectomies and reconstructions, full auxiliary node clearance and I’ve just started my first week of radiation.
I’m very lucky to have an amazing partner who I could not have done this without, and my family and friends have been my teammates through all of this. Countless grocery runs, lifts to and from appointments, shopping for me when I couldn’t get out of bed, and most important of all… deliveries of Bahn Mi’s and Pepsi max.
Cancer at any age is scary, but cancer before you’ve had a chance to start a family and tick off some of your bucket list items is even scarier. Having a network of supportive and encouraging family, friends, doctors, specialists is so important to take on cancer and to not only beat it, but to thrive.
Sign up for Carman’s Fun Run today and start fundraising to support Katie and the thousands of Australians affected by breast cancer.
Every day in Australia, approximately 57 people are diagnosed with breast cancer and each year around 1000 are young women. On May 18 2021, at age 29, I became one of those statistics.
It is now over a year since I finished my last round of chemotherapy and just under a year since my last surgery. Even though I'm still on treatment and have more surgeries to go I am physically stronger than I have been in what feels like forever.
This time last year I was psyching myself up each time I had to climb the three flights of stairs to my apartment. The thought of running 1km let alone a half marathon seemed laughable and completely out of reach. But thanks to some amazing supports (some of them are running for/with me) I'm taking on this challenge.
My team and I are raising money to support those going through some of the toughest moments of their lives. I'm hoping to give back to the community that supported me. BCNA do some amazing work for people like me, you can help those going through their cancer journey by donating to our page (link above).
If you can't donate you can still support the cause by forwarding this to your friends and family and in doing so raise awareness around breast cancer. Breast cancer affects men and women of all ages. Check your breast/pecs regularly and if you find a lump get it checked ASAP. Don't wait 4 months like I did.
Sign up for Carman’s Fun Run today and start fundraising to support Nicole and the thousands of Australians affected by breast cancer.
How are you feeling?
If this story has raised any issues for you - please call the helpline on 1800 500 258.
Let’s be Upfront about navigating a breast cancer diagnosis as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
Upfront About Breast Cancer Episode 30: Breast cancer, genes and family
The ‘triple test’ is recommended to find the cause of a breast change - physical exam and personal history, imaging tests, and tissue biopsy
Reduce risk by maintaining a healthy weight, reducing alcohol, not smoking, hormone replacement therapy, breastfeeding, medication and surgery
*This article does not provide medical advice and is intended for informational purposes only.
Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you're seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.