At age 26, on Christmas Day, Rebecca Moffat noticed lump in her breast. In early 2017, she was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer, DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in SITU). This life-changing milestone is what drove the survivor to create Catwalk to a Cure, to be held at Marina Mirage Saturday 6 April to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
Due to her young age and the rapid growth, Rebecca opted for a double mastectomy in February, followed by two breast reconstructive surgeries. Although the double mastectomy surgery can be confronting Rebecca says she does not regret having the surgery, “It’s a pretty confronting surgery. You go in looking one way and then you wake up and your body has changed so much. It was the best option that I had to minimise the risk of re-occurrence,” says Rebecca.
The diagnosis came as a huge shock to Rebecca and her cancer had grown to the size of a 50 cent piece within three weeks. She had been married for only 18 months and Rebecca and her husband Craig were hoping to start a family soon. “I didn’t think I would get to see my nieces grow up, never have children of my own and all these plans I had made would never happen,” says Rebecca.
Her mother Debbie is an oncology nurse at a local hospital and strongly encouraged her daughter to follow up after the holidays even though she was in her mid-twenties and there was no family history of cancer. The quick thinking of Rebecca’s Mother has been credited to saving her daughter’s life. “Once we had determined what type of cancer it was (High grade DCIS – non invasive cancer) we calmed down a little bit. It was caught early and could be treated early. After that, I gave myself a stern talking to, something along the lines of “Snap out of it, you’ve got this, it’s been caught early. You will be fine,” says Rebecca.
Even though recovery is ongoing, she is back working in a medical recruitment agency and looking forward to starting a family in the future. Following the beginning of her recovery, Rebecca took it upon herself to create a fun event that would raise vital funds for breast cancer research and awareness for early detection. The event is Catwalk to a Cure and the idea was born from Rebecca’s desire to contribute more to breast cancer research and detection awareness. “I thought a fashion show would be a great way to raise funds for breast cancer and started planning around May. I was then introduced to Robyn Cameron, my co-organiser and fellow Breast Cancer survivor in October, and that really set the wheels in motion,” says Rebecca.
With more than 480 breast cancer diagnosis new cases on the Gold Coast alone each year Rebecca urges all women to get checked if they notice any changes.
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