The Thomson Cricket Club in Geelong have been supporting Pink Stumps Day since 2013, and when they signed up to take part in the campaign in 2019, they had extra reason to make the event a success.
Felicity Menzies, the club president’s wife, was diagnosed with breast cancer a few days before they filled in the application form in 2019.
The 47-year-old was doing her regular self-check when she felt a lump. Her GP took it seriously enough to send her for a mammogram and ultrasound, which turned into a biopsy. The next week, she asked Felicity and her husband, Dale, 47, to come in for the results.
Felicity was diagnosed with hormone positive, early-stage breast cancer. The couple were open about it with their two boys, Hugh, 17, and Luke, 13.
“We were pretty straight up with them,” Felicity said. “When Luke found out he wanted to come up to the Pink Test but financially, we couldn’t afford it.”
So having the club win the Pink Stumps Day fundraiser was a blessing for their family, allowing them to take a break before she went into surgery the following week.
When Dale signed up his club a few days after Felicity’s diagnosis, he couldn’t separate his personal connection.
“Part of the form asks, ‘Why do you think your club deserves to be involved?’ I wrote “Two days ago we learnt that my wife has breast cancer. My wife is the strongest and most positive person I know.
“We have 2 young boys who play cricket. This season I took over as President of the local club. We were all working hard to turn the fortunes of our club around. We now have a greater challenge and that is to make sure my wife gets better.
“I don’t know much about the disease, but I do know about the wonderful work the McGrath Foundation nurses do through the Pink Stumps campaign and the awareness generated through the Pink Test. It has been a flat week, but I’d love to bring a smile to my two boys faces”, he said.
Felicity found being surrounded by a sea of pink at the Pink Test match made her feel supported. Closer to home, her McGrath Breast Care Nurse Sue has also helped her through this difficult journey.
“For the first appointment with our surgeon, he was running two hours late and Sue waited with us,” Felicity said.
“She could have been doing so much other work, there are only two breast care nurses for 3000 patients in the Geelong area, but she waited with us, came to the appointment and then we spoke to her about it afterwards.
“She was happy and relaxed the whole time, she didn’t make us feel pressured at all or that we had to hurry up. The knowledge and support that she gives us, in all honesty, makes it so much easier. Having her to talk to takes away a lot of the fear.”
Pink is the Colour of October!
Pink is the Colour of love, of life, of hope, of care. Host a Pink Stumps Day, Pink Up Your Town or fundraise your way this Breast Cancer Awareness Month (1-31 Oct) and do it in Pink to show your support for those experiencing breast cancer.
Your support will move us closer towards a future where no one goes through breast cancer without the care of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse.