Janet Kake has been diagnosed with breast cancer not once, but three times.
The Eumundi local, 53, was first diagnosed with cancer at only 33-years-old, with her most recent reoccurrence just three years ago.
“The first time I was diagnosed, I only went to see the doctor because I had a pain under my arm – luckily, he was very experienced and sent me for a mammogram straight away,” Ms Kake said.
“My most recent diagnosis came only two weeks after I had told my parents I had decided to have a double mastectomy – it was while I was going through that process that I was told I had cancer again.”
Despite taxing treatment and surgeries – Ms Kake had five cancer surgeries within one year alone – she sees her cancer experience as a gift.
“Every time I had breast cancer I learnt more about myself and prioritised what was truly important, such as spending time with my children,” she said.
In honour of her resilience, positivity and passion for raising awareness, Ms Kake has been named Face of the 2017 Sunshine Coast Walk For Women’s Cancers.
Walk For Women’s Cancers, held September 2 in Alexandra Headland, is a fun-filled walk that sees locals come together, dressed in pink, to fundraise for Cancer Council Queensland.
“I had a great network of friends and family which made all the difference; the reason I like to fundraise and spread the word about Cancer Council’s work is because I know not everyone is as lucky to have that strong support base,” Ms Kake said.
“If by sharing my story someone is more vigilant and learns to listen to their body, it will be worth it, as early diagnosis gives a better chance of survival.
“My message to people is to take the fear out of the disease, by informing yourself and getting checked.”
Ms Kake said through being open about her cancer experience and her double mastectomy, she hoped to reduce other women’s worries.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said the charity was delighted to have Ms Kake on board as the Face of Sunshine Coast Walk For Women’s Cancers.
“Janet is a great inspiration to her community and a strong advocate for the fight against cancer,” Ms McMillan said.
“One in six Queensland women will be diagnosed with breast or gynaecological cancers in their lifetime.
“By walking with us at Sunshine Coast Walk For Women’s Cancers you are helping to change the future for thousands of Queensland women.
“Funds raised at events like these enable us to conduct lifesaving cancer research, offer vital support to those affected, and educate people on how to reduce their cancer risk.”
To register for the Sunshine Coast Walk For Women’s Cancers, visit cancerqld.org.au/walkforwomenscancers or call the Cancer Council Fundraising Hotline on 1300 65 65 85.
Locals can register individually or as a team, and walk either 3km (adult $25) or 6km ($30).
Those who register online before August 11 will go in the draw to win a getaway for up to six people at Plantation Resort at Rainbow, Rainbow Beach.
Cancer Council Queensland is an independent, community-based charity, the achievements of which are made possible by the generosity of Queenslanders.
For more information please contact:
Lisa Maynard, Senior Media Advisor, Cancer Council Queensland, P. (07) 3634 5171