How do I put into words one of my life’s greatest moments? Healthy and full of vitality, I hold hands with one of the most beautiful, caring women in the world – who has the fight of her life on her hands. Looking each other in the eyes as we both prepare to shave our heads… I think I underestimated the power of the head shave and how it would make me feel.
I still remember the morning I rang Margie after she had been in Sydney undergoing two surgeries to remove cancer from her right boob. The doctors were coming up with a plan of attack to hit this cancer head on – Margie’s cancer is aggressive (invasive Lobular Carcinoma), so not only did she have to have radiation but also intense chemotherapy.
Over the previous month, Margie’s whole happy world was completely turned upside down as she prepared to armour up ready for battle, a battle she will embrace and will conquer and will win. When we spoke that morning I asked if she was going to lose her hair with the chemo treatment and when she said yes I knew what I had to do. “I can’t let you do this on your own. I’m going to shave my head with you and we’ll raise a shit load of money to find a cure for this dreadful disease and make every woman we know more breast aware.” I just heard sobs on the end of the phone.
So I announced my head shave at our La Bella client Christmas party on the 17th of November with the aim to raise $20,000 for two foundations – Canassist and Love Your Sister. Having followed Connie Johnson’s journey I wanted to contribute to keeping her legacy alive and get women to check their boobs as early detection to this horrible disease is the key. 49 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day, in fact in 2018 over 18,235 new cases of breast cancer have be diagnosed in Australia. To put that figure into context, it’s the entire population of my hometown PLUS the population of the neighbouring town. That’s a lotof people.
My pledge of raising $20,000 began and we had an overwhelming response.
What really touched me was the response from so many women who have been affected by breast cancer and who shared their stories with me. These ladies were inspiring and their passion for life and what they had been through to rid their bodies of this dreadful disease and their will to live touched me to my core.
Margie has been very public with her diagnosis always with the giving intention of making as many women as she can breast aware a testament of the amazing women she is always putting others first. I know I booked straight in to have my boobs checked along with a lot of our friends and people following Margie’s story. She has since found out two ladies have in fact been diagnosed with breast cancer and because of Margie being so public she has helped save these lives because early detection is the key.
With 3 chemos down and 1 to go, Margie is on the countdown. If you have seen a loved one experience chemotherapy you’ll be able to appreciate what a horrible experience it is to see what Margie is going through. As heartbreaking as it is to watch her pain, Margie always gets up, puts her lipstick on, and continues to fight – always thinking of her beautiful children Gracie, Billy and Daisy who are her reason for living. Plus, she still has a lot more to give this world!
Since the head shave the magic still continues with people stopping me in the street to hug me (sometimes crying), and thanking me. By acknowledging what sufferers are going through, and survivors have been through, I hope to raise awareness.
Margie what an inspiration you are. I feel blessed I got to shave my head with you, to be beside you and love and support you in the toughest moment in your life. I feel privileged to be your friend. I wish I could put into words the love that surrounded us that day – it is one of my life’s greatest moments. Giving is the reason for living and I love that together we have made a difference in the world.
On finishing if you are reading this please pleasecheck your boobs. Go on, do it now and if you’re unsure go see your doctor or book a mammogram. Let’s kick cancer in the cake hole.
PS. Stay tuned for my 2019 fundraiser, it’s going to be epic!
Photography by Laura Jelbart