Ovarian cancer is the biggest killer of all female cancers, and as breakthrough treatments emerge, brave moms who have lived through it and fought it themselves are saying it’s not enough.
The women have survived excruciating surgeries and chemotherapy and now they’re launching a new fashion campaign to sound the alarm for more funding.
Jenn Hume is now walking the airwaves in a campaign photo shoot, but the mother’s perfect smile hides the battle she’s been through.
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“I was told I had a 10 by 11 centimeter tumor on my right ovary,” Ms Hume said. A topical matter.
The single mother, who is also a first responder, was shocked when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years ago as she has no family history of the disease.
Focusing on her son, Elijah, Ms Hume ignored all the warning signs – and there were plenty.
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“Overwhelming fatigue…I had stomach bloating, lower back pain…and the visual symptom I had was that I had developed Raynaud’s Syndrome, ie the butt of my fingers and toes was turning blue,” she said.
“To the point that they were numb and tingling and I had trouble holding my cell phone, that’s what led me to the doctor.”
And it was that GP appointment that forever changed the course of her busy life, with her brutal five months of surgery and chemotherapy.
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“I thought I might lose an ovary, but the gold standard treatment for ovarian cancer is to remove your entire reproductive system,” Ms Hume said.
Two years later, the strong mother is waking up Australian women to what is happening to their bodies.
Ms Hume is one of four brave survivors who are the faces of a fundraising campaign for Ovarian Cancer Australia.
Throughout February, Black Pepper General Manager Rachel Digby said A topical matter their 80 stores nationwide will donate proceeds from sales to Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.
“Black Pepper designed this beautiful scarf. (It) sells for $29.99 and $10 will go to ovarian cancer,” Ms Digby said.
Jane Hill from Ovarian Cancer Australia said the disease was largely overlooked.
“During the COVID pandemic, our helpline has grown by 70%,” she said.
“It’s a signal that women have a lot of distress and anxiety about ovarian cancer because it’s a cancer that keeps coming back.”