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  • Family fighting back against cancer

    07 October 2016

    Sally Guthrie decided to host her first Girls’ Night In six years ago. A mother of two daughters, (one and three at the time), she didn’t have many chances to get together with her friends so decided to do something about it. Breast cancer was also too familiar to her family.

    11 years ago, Sally’s mother Peggy was diagnosed with breast cancer at 50 years of age. She found a lump the size of a 20 – 50 cent piece and within four days of the first doctor’s appointment, she underwent surgery to remove her right breast. She then endured radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

    “It was an aggressive cancer and she was lucky enough to survive. A few years later her sister (my aunty) was diagnosed and needed a mastectomy. Then, in February 2015, my older sister was diagnosed at 38,” she said.

    “She had a lumpectomy and radiation and is now on hormone replacement therapy which has sent her into early menopause.”

    The 36 year old from Semaphore also had a close friend diagnosed recently, while also losing two friends after having treatment for breast cancer and getting subsequent secondary cancers.

    Over her six years supporting Girls’ Night In, Sally gathers her friends at her home each year, they play fun games to get everyone laughing and having fun in support of a cause so close to her heart.

    “My family has never hidden this disease and we fought it together with lots of love, care and laughter.”

    Sally continues to host an event each year to prevent others from going through what they have been through and to have a bit of fun.

    “We have so much fun together and love getting the kids together to celebrate life. We raise funds for a fantastic cause and awareness to help support anyone who has this horrible disease!”

    With donations from local businesses, raffles, door prizes, games and her online fundraising page, Sally is making a difference to the over 50 women diagnosed with breast or a gynaecological every day.

    With Cancer Council being the only organisation that works across every area of women’s cancers (from research, to prevention, support and advocacy), your support will ensure these services can continue to help women affected by cancer.

    Cancer Council SA General Manager Services, Research and Public Policy, Alana Sparrow, said Girls’ Night In events are about having fun and raising vital funds, but also provide an opportunity to facilitate powerful conversations to raise awareness about women’s cancers.

    “Thanks to advances in cancer research, early detection and prevention we have seen some great progress in fighting women’s cancers,” Ms Sparrow said.

    “For instance, the five year survival rate for breast cancer increased by 18 percent from 1983 to 2012. Survival for early breast cancer now sits around 95%, but is much less for ovarian cancer.

    “However there is still so much more work to do, especially in early detection and in supporting women during and after a diagnosis.

    "Getting together at home with your girlfriends to support women’s cancers is not only about fundraising – it’s also a good chance to remind the important women in your life of all the things they can do to make sure we are on top of our health.”

    Sally is determined to continue hosting each year to one day prevent others going through what her family has experienced.

    Hosts can register their event at www.girlsnightin.com.auto receive a free host kit or call 1300 65 65 85 for more information.

    For information on all cancers, contact 13 11 20.

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