Laura Meehan was just 25 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February this year.
“I found a tiny lump,” she explains. “My GP said it wasn’t possible at my age to have breast cancer but sent me for an ultrasound anyway.”
The ultrasound led to a further mammogram and biopsy, which confirmed cancer. Laura was then referred to Dr Cindy Mak at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
Laura’s treatment involved a lumpectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
“Dr Mak was so professional and kind, and made me feel so at ease, as was my oncologist Dr Hui, my radiation oncologist Dr Moratji and all the nurses and staff. Their support really got through it.”
As if receiving a cancer diagnosis isn’t difficult enough, receiving treatment at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak has been an especially challenging experience. “I wasn’t able to see my family and friends and I was only able to get support over the phone. My mother was supposed to come out from Ireland but couldn’t due to travel restrictions.”
Despite this, shortly after her diagnosis, Laura loaded another challenge onto her plate by signing up to run this year’s City2Surf to raise funds for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
“I decided to sign up when I was first diagnosed,” says Laura. “It was a way to show cancer it wasn’t going to get the better of me. I did the race last year, so I can do it again after my treatment.”
“I wanted to do it for myself, but also for the hospital that gave me all my treatment and support was a big decision to do it.”
Although sharing her story on her fundraising page was daunting, she wanted to raise awareness about breast cancer for young people. She has now raised an incredible $12,000 for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
Laura plans to run the virtual event in Centennial Park, along with her friends, her partner, brother and father.
“I hope the funds go towards resources for treatment and also research to develop new ways to detect and treat cancer,” Laura says. “Any way it can help other people struggling would be amazing.”
Interested in joining Laura and running this year’s City2Surf your way? Become a Lifehouse Legend and sign up for Team Lifehouse here.