Along with her husband, Barb, who is in her 60s, is enjoying travel and Probus, an association for retirees and semi-retirees to meet like-minded people. Barb also engages in volunteer office work at an RSPCA centre, art classes, social tennis and daily walks. Such activeness prepared her to walk in the 2013 Weekend to End Women’s Cancer. Barb’s fundraising efforts also focus on the Cherish Women’s Cancer Foundation. She attends events, such as movie nights and morning teas, in particular the Battle – she is planning a team for 2015.
Her motivation to fundraise was brought about by personally having cancer, not once, but twice. In 2008, Barb was diagnosed with uterine cancer and her care, under the direction of Professor Andreas Obermair, involved radiation and chemotherapy and their associated tests. Support from her husband, empathy from her employer, positiveness from her two daughters and thoughtfulness from friends helped her through her treatment. The scare encouraged her to be more diligent with health matters. “It was a wake up call to look after myself better,” Barb said.
Barb had lost excess weight and was feeling like a new woman, when in 2012, she alerted doctors to what was diagnosed as low-grade breast cancer. Treatment involved radiation and per recent tests, doctors have given her the ‘all clear’ – thus further opportunity to embrace life. Barb encourages women to be vigilant with health checks.
“Otherwise, don’t worry too much, live life and set yourself goals. Busying myself with challenges like the women’s walk and Cherish fundraising, has helped me on the path to healing, so I can be more open about my experiences and ultimately help others,” she said.
In the not too distant future, grandchildren will need to squeeze into her busy schedule!