Warrnambool women take cancer message to Sydney test

Raising awareness: Warrnambool McGrath Breast Care Nurse Bec Hay and breast cancer survivor Deanne Evans at the official launch of the So Brave calendar last year. Both women are heading to the Pink Test in Sydney.
Raising awareness: Warrnambool McGrath Breast Care Nurse Bec Hay and breast cancer survivor Deanne Evans at the official launch of the So Brave calendar last year. Both women are heading to the Pink Test in Sydney.

Two Warrnambool women will join the sea of pink at the 10th anniversary of the McGrath Foundation test in Sydney this week.  

McGrath Foundation breast cancer nurse Bec Hay and survivor Deanne Evans will be special guests at the event, helping to represent the 17,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia each year.

Australia and England will complete the Ashes series starting on Thursday at the SCG, with plenty of pink on day three, known as Jane McGrath Day.

Ms Hay has been Warrnambool’s McGrath Breast Care Nurse since 2009, but this is her first chance to attend the Pink Test.

“It’s such a privilege to attend, to raise awareness of the support McGrath breast care nurses provide families experiencing breast cancer across the country. I can’t wait to experience that atmosphere first hand,” she said.

Ms Evans has been a strong campaigner for breast cancer awareness since her diagnosis in 2015. She took part in the So Brave calendar campaign last year, painted head-to-toe in body paint to draw attention to younger women with breast cancer.

“I still can’t believe I have the opportunity to raise awareness like this. If I can help raise awareness through this experience then I’ll be very proud,” she said of the trip to Sydney. Ms Evans was only 31 when she was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer.

She noticed a lump under her arm and after getting checked out found that cancer had spread into her lymph nodes and required treatment quickly. “Between diagnosis and my first round of chemo was three weeks,” she said.

“I ended up having six months worth of chemo. They were terrible.” Surgery followed and Ms Evans went into remission in June 2016.

Throughout the experience, Ms Hay was by her side as one of 119 McGrath breast care nurses across the country. This year’s Pink Test is hoping to raise $1.3 million to fund 10 breast care nurses for a year, which will support an extra 1000 families.

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