“She was losing her breast, why couldn’t I give up my hair”
When someone is going through breast cancer, it can be hard to truly understand their experience and the full impact of a mastectomy. When Gabriella’s mum, Christina, was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time and had her breast removed, Gabriella wanted to find a way to show her love and support. This is what inspired Gabriella to shave off her hair to raise important funds for the McGrath Foundation.
Based in Western Australia, Christina was first diagnosed with breast cancer eleven years ago. She underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to fight the cancer, before going into remission. However, a lump was found in her scar tissue which meant she would need to have her breast removed. For her daughter Gabriella, this was the second time she’d watch her mother experience breast cancer.
“I didn’t know what I could do to help my mum. She was going to lose a breast. I have no idea what that would feel like… I have never lost a body part let alone a breast. She was losing a breast, why couldn’t I give up my hair and help raise funds at the same time.”
This was when Gabriella had the idea to shave her head and raise money for the McGrath Foundation. Christina had been supported by her McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Michelle, throughout her second treatment period. Michelle had assisted both pre and post operation, providing information and attending doctor’s appointments with Christina, who speaks highly of her McGrath Breast Care Nurse.
“She [Michelle] is a very kind, gentle, supportive person and I have really appreciated her input. Hence when my daughter asked who to fundraise for, I immediately suggested the McGrath foundation as I now had firsthand experience of what a great job they do,” said Christina.
Gabriella turned her beautiful fundraising idea into a reality, setting up a fundraising page on the McGrath Foundation website, with the goal to raise $1,000 in two weeks. Gabriella was bowled over by the generosity of her peers and the ease of fundraising and ended up raising over $2,500!
“The McGrath Foundation website makes fundraising very easy and provides tools to help you. You don't need a big event to raise funds. Keep it simple and have fun. Also, don't underestimate the generosity of people.”
It is through the efforts of amazing community fundraisers like Gabriella that we can continue funding McGrath Breast Care Nurses across the country. The McGrath Foundation currently fund 170 McGrath Breast Care Nurses, who help people with breast cancer and their families by providing invaluable physical and psychological support from the time of diagnosis and throughout treatment.
If you’re interested in fundraising for the McGrath Foundation during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, it’s the perfect time to get involved. It can be as simple as setting up a fundraising profile on our website and sharing the link with your friends!