From heartbreak diagnosis to heartbreak hill | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
 In Inspiring Stories, Lifehouse News, OpenHouse News, Patient Stories

Heather Williams had just given birth to her second child, Jesse, when she began experiencing significant pain in her tailbone.

“Everyone just told me it was from the labour and delivery. Finally, just after Christmas, I went for an MRI, and was diagnosed with a spinal cancer so rare there are only about 20 recorded cases.”

Heather needed immediate surgery, but it wasn’t an easy decision. “If someone’s going to be operating on your spine, you want to make sure it’s the best possible person.”  On the recommendation of a friend in oncology, Heather was referred to Chris O’Brien Lifehouse orthopaedic sarcoma surgeon, Associate Professor Paul Stalley.

Six weeks after a second spinal surgery, Heather began an intensive round of radiation therapy at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

In October 2021, just six months after having her spine operation, Heather ran Sydney’s City2Surf, raising over $6,500 for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

“It was hard, but Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is such a great facility – the staff are brilliant and make everything feel easy. Raising money to go directly towards giving someone else that good experience felt like the least I could do. I’ve been blown away by how generous everybody is.”

We’re so grateful for Heather’s support and wish her the best of luck with her treatment.

If you would like to learn more about raising funds for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, please contact Sara Walker on (02) 8514 0300 or at

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