1. Home
  2. Your impact
  3. Back to Meet the people you're helping Meet the people you're helping
  4. Sarah's story

Sarah's story

hero-banner-mobile hero-banner-desktop

I have breast cancer, and I’m 31.

Breast cancer patient Sarah Anderson, 31, describes the support offered by the Sea of Pink as “very, very heartwarming”. 

The latest hurdle Sarah will confront in her breast cancer journey is her bilateral mastectomy surgery, booked in for February. The prospect of joining the International Women’s Day Fun Run presented by National Storage serves as a timely morale boost for Sarah, and many patients like her.    

Sarah, a professional young woman, is determined to lend her inner strength and voice to advocacy for both breast cancer research and awareness. The multi-generational faces within the Sea of Pink are a poignant reminder that breast cancer affects women of all ages and demographics–with 1 in 7 women diagnosed within their lifetime.  

“People have told me that they never thought someone as young as me would get breast cancer, that it’s an old ladies’ disease, but I’m living proof that anyone can be diagnosed,” Sarah said. 

“It just pays to be vigilant. Listen to your body. We know what our breasts look like and feel like. If you notice any change, the slightest of change, please act on it because that early action is what can save a lot of distress and trauma down the track. You want to catch it early. 

"My life-changing journey began when I noticed changes in my right breast–it was inflamed and felt slightly lumpy and painful. I was quickly diagnosed with stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer. As it is an aggressive cancer with a high likelihood of recurrence, I require 12 months of stringent treatment involving chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy, radiation, plus years of hormone therapy down the track.  

“I’m going through this journey of treatment right now. It’s pretty tough at times, both physically and mentally.” 

The research advances and level of personalised treatment options available for each individual woman has proven to be an eye-opener for Sarah since her initial diagnosis. 

And it has inspired her to selflessly lend her voice, and time, to increase awareness that breast cancer isn’t just an older woman’s disease and that Fun Run’s efforts to bolster both research and early detection truly are game changers. 

“Research, and what they have found out about breast cancer and the way it’s treated has just come so far,” Sarah shares.

“There’s often that stigma around, 'Oh, we’re throwing all this money at cancer research and this, that and the other. Where’s it going?' Well, in the case of breast cancer, I know where the money is going. Just given what they know about how to treat my breast cancer and all the support I’ve received from Mater so far and the health team, we can see where the money’s going. My life will be saved due to the funds that are going towards this. 

“Being stage 3, I’m thinking ‘oh my gosh, had I left it a month or so later, things could have been a lot, lot worse’. 

“Spread the word to everyone, just be in tune with things. We all have a gut instinct when we know something’s not right with our health. And I think in my situation, that’s what has helped me. I acted on it, and I acted on it fast, as fast as I could really.” 

“I know when I’m there on the day, just seeing young people around me is really going to inspire me,” Sarah declares.

“Who knows what’s ahead of these people or their families? But it’s just great that people can get out there and show their support. That’s very, very heartwarming. 

“The moment I had the diagnosis, a few weeks later, my dad was saying, 'I'm ready to get a pink shirt. You just let me know when that Fun Run's on and we'll be there.' My family are really rallying around this cause because obviously seeing their daughter battling a life-threatening disease is probably one of the hardest things they'll ever have to deal with in their life.   

“But I know your funds will help save my life and the lives of others with breast cancer. 

“It’s research that helps people like me survive - and that’s what’s so heartwarming about International Women’s Day Fun Run.”

Register today to help support women with breast cancer. 

Hear more about Sarah's story

Play video
Sarah's breast cancer journey