Ashleigh's Story

I’m Ashleigh and I hear you are also thinking about taking part in this year’s RACQ International Women’s Day Fun Run—that’s great news.

I will be there, and not just because I work for the Mater, but because I genuinely believe that as a breast care nurse, I have a really important role to play.

It’s why I wanted to give you a little more information on what breast care nurses, like myself, actually do with those precious dollars you’d be raising as a participant.

Here’s a little about my background. I've worked as a registered nurse for over a decade and I've been involved in not only the surgical and clinical facets of nursing, but also in cancer research. In particular, the areas of breast oncology. It has all led me to the point where I've become a specialist breast care nurse.

And, it’s the best job of all.

My role in supporting women is as different and diverse as each woman’s breast cancer journey. In a single day I can be helping to translate their oncologist’s advice into something they can easily understand; I become almost like the conduit of information between the women who are diagnosed and the treating team which empowers them to make informed decisions about their treatment.

Another part of my role is making sure that women who really need practical support—be it a mastectomy bra, or a wig—is able to get these items.

Many women can experience a deep personal loss, following surgery and breast cancer, and it can heavily affect self-esteem. These practical support items can stop them from having to look in the mirror and be confronted with the emotional and physical struggle of what they’re going through.

I’m also there to listen, and to open the door to all the facets of psychological and emotional support.

Each woman going through cancer is affected in a different way, depending on their age and stages of loss, and every woman's experience is individual.

It’s why I’m so excited that you’re thinking about raising funds and helping breast care nurses be able to offer this care every day throughout every woman’s breast cancer journey.

From diagnosis, treatment, follow-up, inpatient/outpatient care, your support will mean someone like myself can be there at those key points of care—thank you!

I love the RACQ International Women’s Day Fun Run. It really gets the endorphins going and is such a special day to be part of. As a breast care nurse, I see how important Mater Chicks in Pink is in supporting women with breast cancer.

Thank you for helping to make this support possible!

Ashleigh.