01 April 2016
After Alison Warner’s mother and sister both battled breast cancer and her dear friend lost her fight to brain cancer, she became extremely passionate about raising funds to eradicate the ‘insidious disease’.
Over the past few years, Alison faced her own personal battle, having to undergo a “confronting” double mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer herself.
Alison was having frequent mammograms and MRIs (due to her family history) and the cancer was discovered during one of her routine appointments in September 2014.
Thankfully the cancer had not spread and Alison did not require further treatment after the surgery.
She explains her most difficult moments.
“The hardest thing during my experience was being confronted with no longer having breasts. I have really struggled with this loss as a woman and certainly look at myself differently,” Alison said.
As much as Alison and her family and friends have been through, she is just as determined to be positive and continue to fight cancer by raising funds for her team in the Adelaide Northern Relay For Life.
“The positive from this experience is that I have become more determined in my fight because when cancer struck me, it became much more personal. My husband and I had a good relationship before this but now it is all the more stronger.
“I look at life differently and know how important today really is.”
Alison is now focusing on completely recovering and getting back to normal for her boys, picking them up from school, teaching, being a soccer mum and team manager.
She encourages other people affected by cancer to be kind to themselves.
“It is ok to have fears. Most importantly - be positive and don’t let cancer rule your life. Enjoy the simple things and embrace your family and friends.”
Turning her attention to Relay For Life, Alison (and her team), have participated in seven Relays, raising a staggering $103,167 for Cancer Council.
“I believe it is so important to give back in this world and feel like you have made a difference,” she added.
“I know that feeling when Relay is over – how proud you are, knowing what you can achieve.
“Our (Relay) team is a group of normal, everyday women who are determined to change the future and hopefully we can encourage others to think the same!”
Relay For Life provides a great opportunity for communities to recognise and celebrate those who have overcome cancer or are undergoing treatment, those who care for people with cancer and to celebrate the memory of those who have lost their battles.
Cancer Council SA Chief Executive, Lincoln Size, says the event is all about community spirit.
“Relay is a fantastic community event. It has something for everyone and brings together people who have all been touched by cancer - survivors, carers, friends and families of all ages. All who want to bring the defeat of cancer closer!” Mr Size said.
“The determination and enthusiasm demonstrated by people like Alison means that we can continue to provide services to all families affected by cancer.
“I thank Alison and her family for being involved in Relay and using their experience to help many others that have and will go through what they have been through.”
Cancer Council SA is encouraging people of all ages to register a team and join Alison in the fight to beat cancer.
“Relaying means I get the chance to give hope to others, personally fight back and hopefully WIN, not just for me, but every other person who faces cancer, now and in the future!” Alison said.
There are currently 24 teams registered for the Adelaide Northern event and the committee are hoping for 30 teams to beat 2014’s total of $100,000 to help South Australian’s affected by cancer.