We are proud to be helping Susannah as she embarks on her journey to help raise money to fight breast cancer.
Facing her ultimate fear of sharks, we are helping her achieve her goal by supporting her to complete her Open Water Certification, so she can swim with the sharks at AQWA to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Research.
You can show your support and help Susannah at her donation page: donate.grassrootz.com/breastcancerwa/iga-purple-bra-day-2018/susannahs-shark-swim
Susannah’s Shark Swim
Would you swim with sharks? I would and this is why.
I love the ocean but thought swimming in it was one of the greatest risks in my life. Anxiety and the sinister undertones of the Jaws music accompanied each stroke. I took steps I thought reduced risk: swimming parallel to the shore with others around, avoiding so-called ‘sharky days’, grazing my knuckles in the shallows.
How wrong could I have been in my assessment of risk and my knowledge of fear? In September 2016, I was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer that invaded my lymph nodes from my breast. My life was under threat from the undetected cancer within, not the sharks in the Indian Ocean. The greatest risk I had ever taken was inattention to my own body. As a mother of school-age children I felt too busy to start the breast-screening open to Australian women from age 40. If only I had diverted some of the time and energy I spent worrying about sharks to monitoring my own health.
Being diagnosed with breast cancer was like being hit by a tsunami. First the ocean retreated towards the horizon, as I realised my future would never be the same, then, the wave hit when treatment began.
I could not have confronted my fears, kept swimming and survived without the support offered by Breast Cancer Care WA. This vital organisation works locally to keep breast cancer sufferers and their supporters afloat. From financial assistance, to the medical knowledge of breast care nurses, the advice of specialist counsellors and the peer support groups they convene, Breast Cancer Care WA’s services are a vital complement to the treatment and research of medical experts.
Breast Cancer Care WA helps me find the joy in my life despite cancer. For me, nothing is more uplifting than swimming in the ocean: “the best medicine no money can buy”. Ocean swimming dissolves stress and helps my body and mind regain vigour. Whilst swimming I forget my cancer fears and celebrate living with the Indian Ocean close by. Now its time for me to face my fear of those whose habitat I love and share. I will swim with sharks at AQWA to raise funds for Purple Bra Day 2018 and awareness of the relative risks of cancer and sharks. Help me to help Breast Cancer Care WA by sponsoring me to swim with sharks at AQWA on Wednesday June 20.