For Australian Model Lisa Seiffert, setting sail on Boxing Day in the iconic Sydney to Hobart race was deeply personal and a goal that helped her through a particularly dark time.
“I’d been diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery just four weeks prior to the race. I had to fight to be able to make it on that boat but having the goal of taking on the Rolex Sydney to Hobart gave me something to focus on as I navigated breast cancer,” shares Lisa.
“Just two weeks before the race I learnt that fortunately my cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes and I felt like I had a completely new lease on life. A second chance. I remember vividly, on the second night of the race, the weather was quite intense, but I felt so alive. I felt so grateful to be on that boat and to have my father by my side made it the ultimate bonding experience. The feeling you get out on the water, there’s just nothing like it. The adrenaline, the challenge, the risk, the reward, all of it is just so special. I’m still quite green and I’ve got a lot to learn but I don’t plan on stopping.”
Throughout the journey to Hobart Lisa proudly had the McGrath Foundation logo branded on her boat, to remind her of her experience and of the breast care nurses who supported her each step of the way.
“The McGrath Foundation is incredibly important to me. My breast care nurses were my rock. They held my hand through the darkest and most lonely times of my life. They kept me together. I’d go into their office, plonk down in the chair, feeling so scared and so alone and broken and they’d hand me the tissues and listen. Beyond the emotional care, they also helped with all aspects of my medical care, they gave me advice, they were my voice of reason, and my cheerleaders both emotionally and physically. I couldn’t have gone through what I went through without them. I want everyone experiencing breast cancer to have access to a McGrath Breast Care Nurse, it’s only fair.”
“Prior to my diagnosis, I’d been living overseas for the last 26 years; my home and my life was in New York, my family were in North Queensland, and I was going through a breakup. My nurses literally picked up my pieces. Being alone in Sydney with limited support and connections, I really leaned on them. They kept me going. Along with getting back out onto the water, my goal is to do whatever I can to help the McGrath Foundation reach their goal of funding 250 McGrath Breast Care Nurses by 2025.”