Pretty in Pink for the McGrath Foundation

I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t been affected by Breast Cancer; whether you yourself, your mother, sister, grandmother or a close friend has been diagnosed – we all know someone who has been, and therefore we have all been touched by this dreadful disease.

The Facts:

  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women
  • This year it’s predicted over 15,200 women in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer.That’s in one year, only 12 months!
  • That is equivalent to 1 in 8 women diagnosed
  • Breast cancer has no type or preference; both men & women can be affected: although breast cancer is rare in males, 113 are diagnosed every year
  • While the risk of breast cancer increases with age, young females can be diagnosed too: around 770 women will be diagnosed under the age of 40 every year

These are staggering figures. It’s no wonder we all have been affected by this cancer, directly or indirectly.

The silver lining, if there is one, is that the 5 year survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer is more than 89%, with many women living healthy lives well beyond the initial 5 years.

However for those beautiful people that have been taken by this dreadful disease, it’s all about remembering them for who they were, what they loved and how they made our lives better & brighter. By doing this we show that we won’t let breast cancer define who they were as a person.

It’s this compelling belief that sees us Australians band together to honour memories of loved ones past, celebrate with the survivors and to support those currently undergoing treatment. Yesterday at the McGrath Foundation Signature High Tea we did just that.

McGrath HT3
Image sourced from McGrathFoundation.com.au

The McGrath Foundation was founded by Jane and Glenn McGrath in 2005 based on Jane’s desire to provide a Breast Care Nurse for every Australian family affected by breast cancer, regardless of where they lived or their background. Jane’s dream was “to have an army of Breast Care Nurses”. Sadly Jane McGrath lost her life to breast cancer in 2008, but her legacy and dream lives on through the McGrath Foundation. Breast Care Nurses are specialist nurses who support those undergoing treatment and their families by providing accurate insights into the ins and outs of breast cancer & treatment options as well as friendship when it is most needed.

Yesterday’s Signature High Tea was the second of it’s kind to be held in Perth and boy, oh boy did we support this wonderful Foundation! The event was a sell out with tables filled by friends, families and corporate bodies. As well as being a sell out,  many of the tea-goers (myself included) got heavily involved with raffles, mystery boxes, silent auctions & memorabilia gifts. I do love a good mystery box, after all it’s just like a lucky dip but for adults! My gal pal & I had a wonderful afternoon full of non-stop laughs and yummy treats (yesssssss Macarons!)

McGrath HT6

However, while the Macarons were pretty darn good, the highlight of the High Tea was listening to Tracey Bevan the Foundation’s Ambassador and Director, and also Jane McGrath’s BFF. Tracey was full of life and laughter, all things she associated with her best friend. She had the room in stitches whenever she spoke and it was through Tracey’s stories that we got to know the wonderful woman Jane was a little better.

There was also a panel discussion where Tracey was joined by former teammates of Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist and Justin Langer. Like Tracey, both Adam and Justin were full of humour and witty comebacks. It was wonderful to sit back with a coffee and share in their personal memories of both Jane and Glenn McGrath as well as insights into the “going ons”  of their lives post-cricket.

If there was one thing that has stayed with me since leaving the High Tea yesterday, was the resilience people show when faced with burdens that seem too large to bare, people just like Jane McGrath. It was inspiring to hear Tracey’s recount of Jane McGrath refusing to let breast cancer define her and that no matter what life needs to go. This is a philosophy I feel we all could apply to our daily lives more, including myself. We are not defined by what happens in our lives but by our attitude & what we do with the life we have been given – especially when we find ourselves faced with hard times. And Jane McGrath did so much with hers – starting a legacy to help others; to make the lives of breast cancer suffers and their families as easy as possible during such a difficult time. She truly was an awe-inspiring, strong woman.

McGrath HT9

Sadly, the McGrath Foundation Signature High Tea is over for another year in Perth, but if you live in Hobart, Melbourne & Sydney the Signature High Tea is still to come to your social calendar. I highly recommend getting involved in such a worthy foundation and the Signature High Tea is a great way to do so – drink tea (or coffee), share a few laughs with your gal pals & know you are helping women just like you. As well as being truck loads of fun, hopefully you will walk away feeling inspired just like I did!

Feeling inspired to do something now? Head to the McGrath Foundation website to donate or shop pink products with profits going to the Foundation to help provide more Breast Cancer Nurses.

JB xx

 

PS – The McGrath Foundation has recently started an education initiative to help all women take charge and look after their health. Download their free App ‘Curve Lurve’ for easy step by step instructions on how to self check your own breasts. At the end of the day we as women need to get comfortable with knowing what’s normal for our bodies, and by self checking regularly it can help with early diagnosis  and therefore better prognosis (if there is an abnormality). Being “young” is no excuse, Jane McGrath was first diagnosed at the age of 31 years young. Curve Lurve makes it too easy – they even prompt you with reminders and helpful info! So ladies get downloading & start checking your bosom buddies regularly!

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