When Cynthia Murphy felt pain in her right breast back in 2006, she didn’t hesitate to head to her GP and get referred for an ultrasound. What followed was a series of medical investigations leading to a breast cancer diagnosis. All the while Cynthia had the unwavering support of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse, which was invaluable, she says.
Cynthia has just celebrated 16 years being breast cancer-free, and she’s passionate about lending her voice to teaching the importance of breast health.
“It was challenging being diagnosed with breast cancer, especially having two daughters aged three and seven,” she recalls. “After a fine needle biopsy, an MRI, and more scans, they discovered breast cancer in both my breasts. I made the decision to have a full mastectomy, and three weeks later began chemotherapy. My husband was emotional about it all, but he cared for our daughters, and my best friend drove me to and from the hospital.”
Today at the age of 55, life is sweet for Cynthia, and she cherishes every moment. After growing up on a cotton farm in Wee Waa in country NSW, she went on to have a successful career in insurance at the same company for 20 years. She’s also a keen gardener, dedicated mum to her daughters, now aged 19 and 24 years, and she’s a motorcycle riding instructor. Cynthia is also excited to be celebrating 30 years of marriage to her husband Tony this year.
As she reflects on her breast cancer experience 16 years ago, she admits that managing medical and family demands would have been difficult without her dedicated McGrath Breast Care Nurse. “She knew how to navigate the medical system, she was an integral part of my multi-disciplinary team, I talked to her most days and she organised appointments for me.”
Through her experiences, Cynthia has evolved into a strong advocate for breast health understanding. This year, she started volunteering at the Pink Test and she’s already signed up for 2024 too. While Cynthia didn’t know anyone else there on the day, she immediately joined another woman who was a long-time volunteer for the iconic cricket test match.
“I had such a good time. I’m definitely signed up for next year to hear people’s stories, raise funds, and make lovely connections.” Cynthia says she walked around the crowd, chatting to people about the McGrath Foundation fundraising goals and how she was a proud recipient of a wonderful McGrath Breast Care Nurse.
Cynthia also had the pleasure of getting her pink McGrath Foundation hat signed by several of the cricket players. “I want to go back next year and get even more cricketers’ signatures!”
If you’re thinking of volunteering for the Pink Test in 2024, Cynthia says just don’t hesitate. “Even if you don’t know anything about cricket. It’s such a great cause, an amazing atmosphere, and the more people we have out there the better.”
Get involved and sign up now to volunteer for the NRMA Insurance Pink Test, Sydney Cricket Ground 3-7 January 2024!