This is Why We Dry July – Emily’s Story

Emily was only 25 years old when her breast cancer diagnosis turned her world upside down. Working at the local kindergarten and enjoying time with friends and family, Emily was living life as any normal 25-year-old. With no family history of breast cancer or reason to suspect anything was amiss, it was the furthest thing from her mind.

Upon diagnosis, the whole family starting “freaking out,” as Emily phrased it. With no history of the disease in the family or any warning signs, they had no idea about the path forward or how to guide Emily through the experience.

In an instant Emily found herself navigating the complex world of breast cancer but having Joylene, a Dry July funded McGrath Breast Care Nurse, by her side each step of the way made the whole experience a little less scary.

We think Emily’s sister Lucy put it best when she shared “Joylene has been Emily’s rock. As much as we have all wanted to be there to care for Emily, Joylene has been able to be there for her in ways no one else could. She has guided Em and empowered her to face the unimaginable. Joylene has been whatever Em needs her to be; her nurse, her friend, her teacher, her counsellor, her shoulder to cry on, her reassurance, her second mum and her hope when all felt lost.”

“We are eternally grateful to Joylene and the McGrath Foundation for the support they have and will continue to provide for Em and our family in the future.”

It was the bond between Joylene and Emily that inspired Lucy to take on the Dry July challenge for the first time last year. “Emily’s diagnosis changed our lives, turning our world upside down in ways we wouldn’t expect. Not only was I inspired to go dry for Emily, but also for her number one supporter through this entire process, her McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Joylene.” Lucy rallied her family and friends and raised an incredible $3,500 simply by saying no to alcohol for 31 days.

“Emily has shown maturity beyond her age. She has been very courageous in her treatment and has made many sacrifices to give herself the best chance to improve her overall outcome. The love and support surrounding Emily really speaks to the amazing person she is.”

For 15 years now, every day Aussies just like you have been giving up alcohol for one month to make a difference in the lives of families experiencing cancer. Together over the years, the money Dry July-ers have raised has allowed us to fund 5 more McGrath Breast Care Nurses, ensuring that more families receive care when they needed it most.

Will you join Emily’s sister Lucy and go dry for families experiencing breast cancer?

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