My mum, Anica, was a loving and devoted parent, community volunteer and grandma. Now, mum’s bequest is helping the Cancer Council NSW support thousands of women just like her.
Mum and Dad migrated from Macedonia to Australia with me and my sisters in tow, to find a safe and peaceful place to raise a family. I was only 9 at the time, but remember mum settling in quickly and falling in love with her new home. She was a trained teacher, and began to volunteer at the local school. I remember walking down the street and having kids run up to her, calling her ‘Aunty Anica’. As much as she loved her community, she was loved by them as well.
In 2001, mum was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I remember how hard it was for mum when the doctors told her she would need a mastectomy of her right breast. It wasn’t just about her appearance, for her it was a connection to motherhood as well.
The support that mum, and our whole family received during that time and afterward was incredible.
The fact that a migrant family who were facing the challenges of life in a new country could still be given the best of care, blew us away. If it weren’t for the support in place our story would have been so different.
Mum recovered and lived out her life cancer free. When she decided to leave a financial gift to the Cancer Council NSW in her will, our whole family agreed. It was her chance to give back to a community that had given her a new chance at life.
I want to encourage you, just like mum did, to talk to the Cancer Council NSW about leaving a gift in your will and living on in the fight against cancer.