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Margaret’s story

Margaret watched breast cancer impact three generations—her great grandmother, her grandmother, and her mum. So when her best friend was diagnosed, she turned to Cancer Council 13 11 20.

“Janice was like my sister. The first time I was alone after she told me the news, I cried for what felt like hours.

We went through it together. I sat with her through every chemo session, and I shaved my head so she didn’t have to do it alone. But there were some questions I couldn’t answer, so I put her in touch with Cancer Council SA.

That’s the thing about cancer: it’s horrific for those going through it and can be really devastating to the people who are supporting them.

I called 13 11 20 myself and I found it so helpful to chat through my own concerns with the nurse. It eased my mind and helped me to better support Janice, too.

She is now in remission. I couldn’t be more grateful to have my beautiful friend by my side. Since then, my ex-husband has stayed at Cancer Council Lodge while in Adelaide for prostate cancer treatment. It blew my mind to see how supportive they were and it cemented my appreciation of the role Cancer Council plays for so many people.

Hopefully they’ll have to wait a little while, but my little contribution (whenever it happens) will be a gift to help Cancer Council SA continue their important work.”

Malcolm’s story

“I am leaving money to Cancer Council when I die. I’m no scientist, but I know cancer does terrible things to people, and this is something I can contribute.”

When Malcolm updated his Will to include a gift to Cancer Council, he was thinking of his children and grandchildren.

“We have a joke about the small portion of inheritance they’re losing, but it’s really a gift to them,” Malcolm said. He saw it as a gift that might protect the people he loves most.

Now, Malcolm’s gift means so much more to him, following his own cancer diagnosis of two carcinoid tumours in 2007.

More recently, Malcolm’s wife of 50 years, Robin, has also gone through treatment after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012.

Malcolm hopes that by leaving a gift to Cancer Council in his Will, his children and grandchildren will be protected for the future.

Gina’s story

After a two-week headache, Gina woke up one night in the grip of a violent seizure.

“It was so intense that I broke my shoulder in two places and blacked out. They rushed me to hospital for tests and scans. I remember sitting there, with my kids Julian and Isabella by my side, when they told me, ‘It’s Stage 4 glioblastoma. Brain cancer.’

I was 42, given 18 months to live. All I could think was—how can I leave my kids?

For months I endured operations, treatment and seizures. My wound became infected and I had a piece of skull removed. I spent weeks in hospital, vomiting, lost my hair—yet my tumour continued to grow.

Eventually, I had a very successful operation. It removed 96 per cent of my tumour.

I learned to speak again over the next four months, and I’m now cherishing every moment with my family—each one is a gift.”

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