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    BCNA STORIES

    Jane Bunn

    BCNA Event Ambassador

     

    Jane Bunn is a highly credentialed meteorologist with an infectious enthusiasm for the weather. As Channel 7 Melbourne’s resident weather forecaster and presenter, Jane is featured on the 6pm and 4pm News, as well as national bulletins and special events.

     

    Jane has been involved in Carman’s Fun Run for years and first participated in 2017, and is proud to be an official BCNA Ambassador.

     

     

    Meg Carden
    Carman's Fun Run Champion

    • Every year since 2016, I have participated in the Carman's Fun Run.  

    In December 2005, my Mum lost her own battle to cancer after a three-year fight, and became my biggest inspiration in life. My beautiful Mum is my driving force that has led me to be determined to make a difference in the lives of those who are facing similar situations.

     

    We were, and still are, so lucky to have an incredible support network around us, which is something that BCNA provides for thousands of Australian's every day in similar situations.

    I look forward to fundraising at this event every year, and can’t wait to turn Elsternwick Park pink again!

    Emma Trehy

    Carman's Fun Run Champion

    I'll be running the Half Marathon with some awesome running friends here in Sydney (Run Anywhere, Run Anytime) on Sunday 20 February as part of the Carman's Fun Run, to mark 12 months since my last round of chemotherapy.

     

    In October 2019, during Breast Cancer Awareness month I felt something unusual in my right breast and it was swiftly diagnosed as early-stage Breast Cancer. As an avid runner and otherwise fit and healthy 41 year old Mum, I was genuinely shocked by this diagnosis and terrified about what lay ahead.

     

    15 months of treatment followed involving a combination of chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy. I was so grateful to be blessed with an amazing treatment team and the support I received throughout from everyone around me was unbelievable.

     

    During that period running was my solace - a place to escape to and something I could control when so much else was out of my hands. Some days I could only run 1km, others much more and tougher days were punctuated by regular walking breaks, however, I was always very grateful to be able to run.

     

    Raising awareness and funds naturally now lies very close to my heart and I am thrilled to be taking part in this event.

    Raelene Boyle

    BCNA Event Ambassador

    Australia’s much loved Olympic champion, Raelene Boyle, is proud to be an Ambassador for Carman’s Fun Run. Having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 1996 Raelene is a passionate advocate for women and men living with breast cancer and was a very active board member of Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) for many years.

     

    Raelene represented Australia in track and field at three Olympic Games. She won three Olympic silver medals, seven Commonwealth gold medals and two Commonwealth silver medals. In 1974, Raelene was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in recognition of her outstanding sporting achievements. She was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2007, in recognition of her work with cancer organisations, particularly Breast Cancer Network Australia. In 2013, she was named in Australia’s Top 100 Sportswomen of All Time.

     

    Raelene is one of the National Trust’s 100 Living Treasures, a member of the Australian Track and Field Hall of Fame and one of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame’s 39 Legends of Australian sport.

    Kate Van Duuren

    Carman's Fun Run Champion

    Since I was in my early 20’s I knew my family had a wonky breast cancer gene. We just don’t know which one. The specialists think we have our own “special gene”. It has affected my mum, twin sister, cousins, aunts and nanna Pat ­– seven out of nine ladies from my family have had breast cancer before the age of 40. We are all strong and close and, over lunches, have cried, hugged and celebrated end of chemo together. While men can also get breast cancer, our family has been fortunate in this space. After years of breast screening and with support from a Familial Cancer Centre I opted for an elective double mastectomy when I was 34 years old. That was 13 years ago.

     

    That was 16 years ago. I am running in February and looking forward to the bay views, the warm and positive vibes and running with all my fellow SISTERS as we raise funds and awareness for generations to come.

    Claudia Wotherspoon

    Carman's Fun Run Champion

    Taking part in the Carman's Fun Run holds a special significance for Claudia.

     

    In 2014, 7 year old Claudia wanted to do her bit by raising money for Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA), in recognition of one of her friends who lost his mum to breast cancer. Claudia went on to take out first place in the 500 meter Mini Fun Run and raised $600.00 for BCNA.

     

    In Feb 2016, Claudia’s Aunty Cathy was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Claudia knows that BCNA helped Cathy immensely by responding immediately when Cathy called them. They promptly sent her information to help her (the “My Care Kit” and the “My Journey Kit”) all for free. In Cathy’s own words…. “I don't believe I could have understood what was happening to me without these two kits. The information they compiled was easy to read for any lay person. Please keep supporting them.” Claudia signed up again in the Adult 5km race, and again with the incredible support and help of generous family and friends Claudia raised $2,852.05. Claudia continued to raise money at many more events, in consecutive years for BCNA.

    Shari Hindmarsh

    Carman's Fun Run Champion

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2021 (ironically during Breast Cancer Awareness month) and it took me a minute to completely process the fact that I had the big C. This was a word that I had seen thrown around in film and TV storylines and have unfortunately witnessed friends go through, but nothing prepares you for when it is happening to your own body. Utter and pure disbelief, followed by fear and the burning question constantly on your mind, “will I get through this?”. 

     

    I was gifted with an amazing team of professionals who have helped me navigate my journey - my brilliant surgeon Dr Teresa Nano and radiation oncologist Dr Samantha Barbour, along with the team at Icon Cancer Centre at Greenslopes Hospital. They have made my radiation experience so easy and dare I say it, fun…To all these incredible women that I’ve been so fortunate to cross paths with across countless appointments, I will be forever grateful for your care and empathy. 

     

    I’m running in the fun run to help bring awareness to young women with breast cancer and to raise money to continue life-saving research. If it weren’t for those before us helping to raise awareness and working so hard towards developing new technologies and treatments so the future generations could live fuller lives, then I know my story would look very different. I’m not a runner by any means but after going through these past few months, I’m so much stronger and resilient than I ever imagined I could be and now I feel like I can take on anything. Oh, and make sure to check your bits every once in a while!

    Katie Elson

    Carman's Fun Run Champion

    It was two years and two months after my original date of diagnosis when I had a recurrence on April 20th of 2024 and I am now living with Metastatic Breast Cancer at age 29.

     

    I was originally diagnosed with Stage 3B Breast cancer in 2022 two days after I turned 27.

     

    When I first had the lump checked by my GP, I was told: ‘you’re too young to have breast cancer, it’s probably all in your head.’ Safe to say I didn’t see that doctor again when my results came back.

     

    So far, I’ve completed 16 rounds of chemotherapy, had double mastectomy, multiple reconstruction surgeries, full axillary node clearance, 25 rounds of radiation and last, but definitely not least, three rounds of IVF (resulting in only five eggs frozen).

     

    The future for me includes hormone replacement therapy, more radiation and chemotherapy.

     

    Sadly because the cancer is back it means having a family is off the cards for me. It was harder to hear that I couldn't start the family I wanted than to hear that the cancer had come back.

     

    I’ve been blessed with an amazing partner Adam, who has never left my side and always been with me at every appointment.

     

    My family and friends have been my teammates through all of this. Countless grocery runs, lifts to and from appointments, shopping for me when I can't get out of bed, and most important of all… deliveries of Brave Girl Fries and Pepsi max.

     

    Cancer at any age is scary, but cancer before you’ve had a chance to actually live and tick off some of your bucket list items is hard. Having a network of supportive and encouraging family, friends and doctors is so important to take on cancer, and to thrive whilst living with stage four cancer.

    Silvana Plizga

    Carman's Fun Run Champion

    In 2016, at the age of 36, I faced the formidable challenge of Stage 2 Grade 2 Estrogen positive breast cancer. The journey included a lumpectomy, axillary node dissection, chemotherapy, and radiation. Having grown up in a challenging environment, lacking the support of my immediate family, I found solace in the unwavering love of my husband, daughter, son, and the incredible support from friends, particularly a special cousin who stood by me throughout.

     

    Despite the physical and emotional toll, I have participated in Carman's Fun Run four times, achieving a personal best in 2019 – completing the 10km run in 52:48. This year, I am gearing up for the 2025 run, joined by my husband, Chris, running side by side, aiming for another 10km personal best. This event holds deep meaning for me, symbolizing strength, perseverance, and a defiant stance against cancer.

     

    While in remission, I acknowledge the ongoing challenges, both physical and emotional. Yet, my spirit remains unbroken, fueled by a commitment to support not only myself but fellow survivors, those currently in the fight, and those we've lost along the way.

     

    I want to extend a message to my fellow warriors – a breast cancer diagnosis doesn't have to halt your journey. Embrace life, take breaks when needed, push through when possible, and pursue your heart's desires. The fear of recurrence is real, but with each passing year, the "all clear" brings a renewed sense of hope.

     

    As I look forward to participating in more Carman's Fun Runs and dreaming of running marathons around the world, I want to invite you to join me in supporting this cause. Your encouragement and participation matter.

    We Will Always Love Joy

    Carman's Fun Run Champion

    At the heart of our inspiration to participate in the Carman’s Fun Run, is a remarkable woman named Joy.

     

    In August 2023, our beautiful friend, sister, wife, passed away just 10 weeks after being diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer.

     

    Let us tell you a little bit about this amazing person.

     

    Joy became a seasoned participant in Carman's Fun Run, gracing the event with her presence multiple times. The story of Joy's connection to Carman's Fun Run stemmed from a place of deep personal significance— her beloved mother, Fay, sadly lost her battle with breast cancer when Joy and her sister were still quite young.

     

    Determined to make a difference, Joy became a true advocate, extending her commitment to fundraise to help find a cure to this terrible disease.

    In 2018, she posted a heartfelt message on her Instagram, grabbing a friend's fun run pack. In a wonderfully simple act, reflecting her fun-loving spirit, she wrote down her friend's reason for participating in the run: "Because I <Heart> Joy."

     

    As for Joy, her reason for participating was simple and deeply meaningful: "My mum."

     

    Little did the world know that behind those words lay a poignant story of love, loss, and unwavering dedication. Joy wasn't just a participant of a fun run; she was a true gem, and a therapist in fact, dedicating her days to providing support and guidance to those in need. Joy's life had been one of resilience, laughter, kindness, and an unwavering commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of others.

     

    In her and her beautiful mother, Fay’s memory, we carry the torch forward with "We Love Joy,". Participating in Carman's Fun Run holds even more significance as we honour their magnificent spirits.

     

    Thank you for the opportunity to celebrate the life of our dear friend Joy. We all miss her dearly.

    FUNDRAISING

    Sole Motive is proud to announce that Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA)is the official charity partner for the 2025 Carman’s Fun Run.Fundraise for Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) and help support people affected by breast cancer.

    Make your Carman’s Fun Run 2025 mean more.

    Fundraise for BCNA and get get rewarded!

    - Raise $100 to receive a pair of BCNA laces

    - Raise $250 to receive a Carman's Fun Run buff

    - Raise over $1,000 to go into the draw to win a Fitness pack, Carman’s hamper and BCNA merchandise gift pack

    Why your support of BCNA is so important.

    Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) works to ensure that all Australians affected by breast cancer receive the very best care, treatment and support.

    Our impact means that we make a difference to EVERYONE with a breast cancer diagnosis, regardless of whether they been in contact with BCNA or not. All BCNA services and resources are provided for free.

     

    With your help, BCNA can:

    - Provide peace of mind, and information, with factual, tailored information through My Journey

    - Support people affected by breast cancer via our caring Helpline

    - Advocated for new medications to come onto the PBS to improve access to treatment options

    - Ensure the voice and experience of the BCNA network influences breast cancer policy and research innovation

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