Cancer and I go back a long way.

As a teenager, it was Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. At 27 breast cancer. A basal cell carcinoma at 43. At 45 , another breast cancer followed by a thyroid cancer at 50. Now at 51, a rare brain cancer – a Haemangiopericytoma .

These cancers and their treatments (some requiring greater intervention than others) come with their own complications, challenges and side effects. The double mastectomies, no reconstruction, require particular adaptation and acceptance.

I know that cancer can play very dirty. It can reoccur anytime. But even for a seasoned cancer patient like me, never ever, did I contemplate a brain cancer. So, when an ‘out of the blue’ seizure led to my rare brain cancer diagnosis, the stakes suddenly got higher. This cancer has definitely upped the ante and is a challenge of a very different and complicated dimension.

Brain tumours remain one of the hardest, deadliest and toughest, of cancers to treat. It is an area that is also extremely underfunded. Serious money needs to be thrown at it to make a positive difference to patient outcomes and support.

I have reflected on my previous and current cancers. Their recurring pattern and the good fortune I have had to fall into the hands of an extraordinary neuro surgeon, oncology professors, medical professionals and their teams.

My survivorship has been intriguing. Connecting the dots to find meaning and purpose, I intuitively felt the need to ‘pay it forward’ and make a tangible and significant difference to a valuable cancer cause.

As a result, the ‘Laugh your Head Off’ Gala Dinner is set for for 21 June 2018 at Doltone House Hyde Park, Ballroom. The aim is to raise in excess of $100,000 for Brain Cancer Patient Support and Care for the Sydney Neuro - Oncology Group (SNOG). Real people. Real stories. Real needs.

Your support will directly help improve the quality of care and life of brain cancer patients and their families.

All proceeds go directly towards SNOG Patient Care and Support and are not spent on administrative costs

With heartfelt thanks,

Martha Rice