This June, Louise Rafter will trek the Larapinta Trail with the Cherish team on her mother’s behalf. Jocelyn Rafter, in her eighties, may not be able to complete the hike, but she’s certainly backing her daughter in spirit.
“Mum wants to show her tremendous appreciation for Professor Obermair. We are all grateful for the dignified, confident and skilled way he treated her when she was diagnosed with uterine cancer,” Louise said. “As a family, we cannot thank him and his super team enough for saving our Mum.”
In 2018, Jocelyn was caring for her husband, Jim, when she noticed some bleeding that was out of the ordinary. “Thankfully, she addressed it, rather than ignoring it,” Louise said. “Her gynaecologist did a biopsy. We were shocked when the diagnosis came back. After all, Mum had had ten children and never had any gynaecological concerns. It hit Dad particularly hard. He had a rare disease, P.S.P., and was in a nursing home at the time. Mum was his rock from the age of 16.”
“From her diagnosis, things moved fast. Mum travelled to Brisbane and had a full hysterectomy with laparoscopic surgery. All she has to show for it is four little dots. It’s incredible. The cancer had moved through 70 per cent of her uterine wall. The doctors caught it in time,” Louise said. “She didn’t have to endure chemotherapy or radiation. It was still a difficult time. Mum was reluctant to rest for long because she wanted to be back at Dad’s side. The treatment she received gave them extra time together.”
“My Mum Jocelyn said, ‘Professor Obermair, you’re a beautiful man inside and out. Thank you for taking care of women affected by this disease and their loved ones. We’re lucky to have you. You’re amazing!”
Jocelyn has made a full recovery from uterine cancer and continues to live at home in Eumundi. Louise is there to make sure she stays on top of her health, especially now that Jim is gone.
“She is such a dedicated mother,” Louise said. “Everyone else comes first, and that’s the way it’s always been. Especially with her husband and children, each one was a miracle to her, and she took such delight in caring for us. Now it’s our turn to give back and say thank you.”
One of Jocelyn’s sons and tennis champion, Patrick Rafter, added, “We are all very thankful for Professor Obermair. You have given our mother an extended gift of life. Thanks.”