Whitsunday cancer survivor now wants to help others
A BRAVE cancer survivor is taking the fight against the disease to the next level with her own fundraising campaign to help others.
Rebecca Woods was diagnosed with not one but two types of breast cancer - a different form of cancer in each breast - in May 2018, aged 38.
She now feels at a stage in her journey where she can help others and has died her hair pink and set up her own fundraising page.
Mrs Woods, who has been the executive officer of the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre since 2013, underwent a double mastectomy within a month of being diagnosed, followed by six months of chemotherapy.
Mrs Woods, who is now cancer free, said it was a huge shock, as there was no history of it in her family at all.
"It's rare to have breast cancer in both breasts and it's rare that it was two different types, and also being so young," she said.
Mrs Woods, from Cannon Valley, continued working two out of every three weeks through her chemotherapy, taking the week of the chemo treatment off to recover.
"Everyone was amazing - not just my family but everybody at work too - they made it so I could work from home. And the way they all rallied around me - it really did help me get through it all.
"I came back to work and last year we did a Pink Day but I think it was still too fresh for me - I had to grow my hair back and I was still gaining my strength back - last year I was still very much coming out of it.
"Whereas two years on, I feel like I'm at that stage in my journey where I can turn around and start fundraising to make a difference in other people's lives."
Both the Whitsunday Neighbourhood Centre and the Bowen Neighbourhood Centre have also got behind the campaign and are doing their own fund raising.
"It's getting bigger every day," Mrs Wood said.
"It started with me thinking, I'll do this off my own bat, and now it's turned onto a big thing.
"We do it every year, where we 'Go Pink' for a day, and we encourage businesses to make a gold coin donation and go pink, whether it's dressed in pink or having pink hair.
"But this is the first year I have actually gone all out and not just dressed up for a day but I've coloured my hair and started a fundraising page. This year is the first year I have made it more a personal story for me."
Mrs Wood said the word survivor didn't sit well with her.
"Survivor doesn't define how I experienced it because I don't feel like I survived anything. Yes, I survived but, if anything, I'm stronger now compared to when I went into it. I prefer the term survivor and thriver!"
Thursday June 25 is Pink Day when people are encouraged to shave or colour their hair pink, or wear pink, and make a donation to the page to raise much needed funds in the fight against breast cancer, with the goal being to have zero deaths resulting from the disease by 2030.
You can donate via the link https://fundraise.nbcf.org.au/fundraiser/rebeccawoods