Children: four, two boys and two girls

  • David – 19
  • Lachlan – 14
  • Sarah – 16
  • Alyssa – 10

Christine said living in Sydney had become too busy and stressful with four children especially when her younger son needed specialised care. When they visited her husband’s sister in Perth they knew immediately the fresh start they needed was right here in beautiful relaxed state of WA.

When her husband Brendan was offered a transfer to Perth through his work he took it immediately and they began planning the next chapter in their life. As David their eldest son was finishing Year 12, it was decided Christine would stay in Sydney and Brendan would move to Perth six months earlier to start his new role and find a rental for the family.

Even though they knew it would be financially challenging on one income to cover the cost of two rental properties and double the household bills but they knew they could manage if they stuck tightly to their budget.

It was during this six month period that Christine was diagnosed with breast cancer and their lives were turned upside down over night.  Halfway through her treatment when David had finished his exams, Christine and the children moved to Perth.

The family moved to Perth four days before Christmas and on the second day Christine was admitted to Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital seriously ill. The timing could not have been worse, the boxes had been delivered, they didn’t know where anything was and she was too unwell to cope, it was one of her worse nightmares.

On top of all this the owner told them their new rental home was being put on the market and they needed the home ready for home opens. Christine said it was very stressful but they didn’t have any other options until they had the time and money to find a new rental and move.

She said the day the children came to visit her in hospital the day before Christmas, Alyssa her ten year was so upset, she kept saying

I just wish mum was well and the cancer would go away’ she said she was heartbreaking and she felt hopeless.

Alyssa – Daughter

To make matters worse while she was in hospital she developed a serious infection and her health had a rapid decline. Christine said it was one of the most difficult times of her life, is health wasn’t good, they had blown their budget, they had no extra savings for Christmas presents for the kids and they needed to find extra money to cover the costs for:

  • New rental fees
  • Connecting the utilities again
  • A Removalist 
  • Basic costs like food
  • Transport to and from hospital and to wherever they needed to go as they didn’t have a vehicle as they had to leave their car in Sydney
  • School fees
  • School uniforms

Christine said she was a very proud person but during this time she put her pride aside as they needed whatever help Breast Cancer Care WA could provide to feed and care for their children and keep a roof over their heads.

Our nurse Maria also liaised with the school to help in those areas and to give them the background of the children and worked with the school nurse to make the transition period as smoothly as possible for the kids. The kids had been through so much over the past month and starting a new school and making new friends would be hard for them.

Christine said at this time she couldn’t process all her medical problems, she said the only networks she had were left in Sydney and she felt very lonely and isolated and thought how could our lives go so wrong so quickly. Their new start in Perth wasn’t what they had dreamed it would be.

After a couple of weeks she overcame her infection and came home and started the hunt for a new rental. She was on all sorts of medications and would go without replacing a script when it ran out preferring to feed the children instead but this had its own issues, so much so that Maria our breast nurse had to go over and have the scripts filled and paid for them on her own credit card. Christine and her family needed so much support during this time and we were proud to be there to help.

She said all that is behind them now and she had Maria and the wonderful staff at Breast Cancer Care WA to thank.

She has had a few more major surgeries but she is now on top of things and feels like they are over the hump and she is coping better than she ever has.

David her oldest found the moved to Perth difficult as his friends are still in NSW so he has moved back and is now living with his grandmother. Christine said they hope he will come back and try again as she finds it hard to be separated from her oldest son.

Because of you we can provide people like Christine and any West Australian affected by breast cancer the services listed above, this all free of charge. By making a caring donation today or by phoning together we can ensure people like Christine can get the vital care and support they need, when they need it most. Please give generously.