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A Perth Woman Has Become the Star of a National Awareness Campaign, Bravely Sharing her Metastatic Breast Cancer Story

Breast Cancer Network Australia 3 mins read
Jill, centre, with members of the Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) team, including Director of Policy, Advocacy & Support Services Vicki Durston (right).

30/04/2024

 

Jill from Perth was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in her early 50s, which is cancer that is treatable but life limiting.

“You get the incurable part before you get the treatable part,” Jill said of her diagnosis. “It's confronting, and scary, and sad, because you feel like, ‘am I going to see my children get married and have children of their own?’.

“You go to Dr. Google and look up metastatic breast cancer and it doesn't read well,” Jill said.

Jill hopes to highlight that you are still able to live well with metastatic breast cancer. “There are plenty of people who are not the statistics and so it gives you a sense of hope,” Jill said. “I said to my kids, ‘I'll be one of the 20-year people’.”

Jill is one of thousands of Australians to have benefited from Breast Cancer Network Australia’s (BCNA) advocacy work, as her medication is now subsidised on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). BCNA advocated to the government for this drug to be listed.

“We feel very privileged working to support people like Jill access medicines and treatments that they need,” said BCNA Director of Policy, Advocacy & Support Services Vicki Durston.

“Through the Pink Bun campaign, we're able to continue to advocate for people like Jill and provide them with treatment, care, and support.”

The 2024 Bakers Delight Pink Bun campaign highlights the support network around each Australian with a breast cancer diagnosis through the personal stories of three of our valued BCNA members from across the country, who each speak to their own lived experience.

The faces behind this year's campaign – Kansas, Sam, and Jill – arrived from different parts of the country to share and shine a light on how BCNA and its staff have supported each of them through their respective breast cancer experiences.  

Sam from Canberra is a mum of five and was diagnosed at 39. Sam contacted our free Helpline to share a very confronting experience when she went through airport screening with a breast prosthesis. BCNA subsequently advocated on her behalf for better training of airport staff in these circumstances, allowing Sam’s experience to help inform BCNA’s advocacy for change.

Kansas, who was diagnosed at just 24 years of age, drove from rural Victoria to take part. It was BCNA’s Pink Lady Match that reminded her to book in with her GP to get a lump checked. Following the resulting breast cancer diagnosis Kansas relied on BCNA’s online resources including the My Journey app to keep track of symptoms and prepare for medical appointments.

“For many, BCNA is that beacon in a very dark time, and a big part of what we do is around awareness, connection, and bringing people together,” said BCNA CEO Kirsten Pilatti. “During Pink Bun we see a very small bun make a very big difference for so many people, and with 100% of sales donated directly to BCNA, we can make a real difference.”

Bakers Delight Joint CEO, Elise Gillespie said the Pink Bun campaign was something she and franchisees around the country looked forward to each year. “This campaign wouldn’t be a success without the generosity and enthusiasm of our franchisees and it’s incredible to see our bakeries turn pink for this special campaign. This year’s campaign theme really focusses on helping BCNA support every Australian affected by breast cancer, so we would encourage customers across Australia to come into their local bakery not only to buy Pink Fun Buns, but to share their own personal stories and connection with breast cancer. It really reinforces why we do this campaign and what it means to our franchisees and local community members.”

“It really reinforces why we do this campaign and what it means to our franchisees and our local community members affected by breast cancer.”

Jill said the Pink Bun campaign is special for people living with breast cancer.

“It's a bit humbling, all those people focusing to make my life better, I don't think you can say thank you enough!” said Jill. “Get a round of Pink Fun Buns to get around BCNA and all those affected by breast cancer.”

So, how can you support this year’s campaign?

With 100% of Fun Bun sales going to BCNA, it’s easy to show your support for our organisation and for those in your community affected by breast cancer. Simply purchase a 6 pack of Fun Buns from your local Bakers Delight May 9 - 29 and take them home to enjoy!

You can also sign-up for a Pink Bun Party. Get your friends, workmates, or family together and pink your way throughout May, with registrations open at pinkbunparties.com

“Our hope at BCNA is that you’ll get around the Bakers Delight Pink Bun campaign in the same way we get around our network and those we serve,” said BCNA CEO Kirsten Pilatti.

Media Contact: ________________________________________________________________________

Rachael Stewart | Media and Communications Manager | 03 9805 2540| media@bcna.org.au

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About us:

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) is the peak national organisation for Australians affected by breast cancer, and consists of a network of more than 175,000 individual members. BCNA supports, informs, represents and connects Australians affected by breast cancer and works to ensure that all Australians affected by breast cancer receive the very best care, treatment and support appropriate to their individual needs.

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