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Parmelia mum shares her breast cancer journey to raise awareness

Tyra PetersSound Telegraph
She thanked her employer Muzz Buzz for their continued support during this difficult time.
Camera IconShe thanked her employer Muzz Buzz for their continued support during this difficult time. Credit: Supplied

A Parmelia mum has shared her story to raise awareness of breast cancer in the wake of annual fundraiser Purple Bra Day.

It was just a few weeks before Christmas 2022 when Heather Maxwell, 45, felt a lump in her breast while having a shower and knew that something wasn’t quite right.

“I felt the lump and you know once in a while (you get) those lymph nodes and things like that, but this one was particularly hard so I was a bit concerned,” she said.

Ms Maxwell made an appointment to see her GP and a few days later received the devastating news she had stage three invasive ductal carcinoma, a form of breast cancer.

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Despite having a family history of cancer, nothing could have prepared her for what was to come.

“My mum had cancer, she passed away when I was three years old, and a few years ago her sister passed away from ovarian cancer,” she said. “The hardest part was having to tell my family.”

Thankfully a full body PET scan and MRI confirmed the cancer had not spread and Ms Maxwell started chemotherapy.

Ms Maxwell said she remained mostly positive and would undergo a double mastectomy in a few weeks.

“You do have your good days and you have your bad days, but you know, you just have to push on and keep busy,” she said.

Her employer, Muzz Buzz in Kwinana, has been supporting her and jumped on board to help raise funds for Breast Cancer Care WA’s Purple Bra Day fundraiser, raising nearly $200 thanks to customer donations.

Following surgery, Ms Maxwell plans to become more involved with other Breast Cancer Care WA fundraising initiatives.

“It’s so important to continue to raise awareness and encourage people to be aware of any changes, know their family history and ensure they’re getting regular health checks in general,” she said.

“If that awareness saves lives, then it’s all worth it.”

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