Supporting cancer research close to Sarah’s heart

Finding a cure for breast cancer is something that is very close to Sarah O’Sullivan’s heart, following her mother’s 12-year struggle with the disease.

Sarah, who is WCA Solutions’ Office Manager, lost her mother, Jane Harold, to breast cancer in 1998 at age 59.

Sarah & mum cropped

Sarah (front) with her mum, Jane.

While she doesn’t focus on the “what-ifs”, Sarah does recognise the integral evolutions in treatment thanks to the last two decades of research and development.

“When she was first diagnosed she didn’t have a mastectomy, which is what they would most probably urge people to do now,” Sarah explains.

“In hindsight she said she should have had her breasts removed but twenty years ago there was a different stigma to it. Back then they didn’t know what they know now, which is thanks to all the research that has been undertaken.”

Sarah & mum2

Sarah O’Sullivan and mum Jane Harold

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates 18,087 Australians will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. It also estimates 3157 people will succumb to the disease this year.

“Ever since mum was diagnosed I have made donations every two months to breast cancer research and development,” Sarah said. “I get very nervous and anxious before my own check-ups and while waiting for the results and encourage all of my friends to ensure they are checked regularly.”

Sarah is this month joining her WCA Solutions workmates in efforts to raise more than $5000 for the McGrath Foundation as part of its Pink Stumps Day cricket day initiative.

WCA has joined forces for the event with client Linear Clinical Research, which undertakes research and clinical trial into a range of medical conditions, including breast cancer.

“After mum’s initial treatment she went into remission for about six years, but then she developed shoot offs, which can happen at the original site of the tumour or in other places,” Sarah said.

“She continued to get shoot offs, including some in her back. She didn’t want anyone to know and continued to work right up until she had to go into palliative care. That was a real struggle for my brother and I – looking after her but not having anyone know about it.”

WCA Solutions and Linear Clinical Research will hold their Pink Stumps Day event on Sunday 11 March and are calling for donations to the cause. To donate click here.

Posted Friday 2 March 2018