“Life isn’t about what happens, but how you handle it.”
Jenny’s cancer journey began in 1995 when she discovered her 8-year-old son had a brain tumour. After months of chemotherapy, the last few months of his life were spent at home with his Mum providing palliative care. He passed away at 8 years and 10 months.
The experience prompted Jenny to start up the Central Queensland branch of Childhood Cancer Support in 1996, where she was the founding president. Making the switch to Cancer Council Queensland in 2006 – after her younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003.
Jenny’s cancer journey continued in 2006, when she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Back then, lung cancer had a stigma of only occurring to older men who had been smoking all their lives. Jenny felt robbed and was left asking why she couldn’t have breast cancer. “I felt I couldn’t tell people,” she says.
Jenny says the stigma has changed today as more and more people are diagnosed with lung cancer who haven’t even looked at a cigarette.
As a Cancer Connect volunteer, Jenny is matched with another cancer patient who is going through an experience with a similar cancer or treatment. The pair talk about fears and overcoming problems, and Jenny shares her cancer story hoping to create hope in others by saying “I’ve survived.”
In the future, Jenny hopes not to have to talk to as many people as she hopes the frequency of cancer will reduce