WHY WE STARTED
|Together, Renee and Romy’s experiences have brought them together in friendship, and with a shared vision. An opportunity to give back and hence, BABE group (Be Aware Be Empowered) was born.
It is their passion to bring education and awareness to women through a series of inspirational workshops. An opportunity to empower women to be breast aware and to raise money for various breast cancer charities. There are some amazing people out there devoting their life to helping people in need. We would love you to join us and experience the unique power that comes when women unite.
– I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” — Oprah Winfrey
|After reading about Angelina Jolie’s genetic predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer it made me think…to which one night I said to mum “your mum had breast cancer, do you think that puts you at risk?” Snarling and giggling off that comment we went back to eating our meal. A mere few weeks later mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. Words can’t explain the uncertainty and fear that engulfed our family. We dived into the world of doctors, appointments, decision making and the “what if’s”. Sleep deprived we tried to face each day in search of new hope and positivity.
They say that you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice. It was June 2014 when I learnt not only did mum share the same genetic mutation (BRCA2) as Angelina Jolie, but that she had passed it on to me. I waited 6 long weeks for the blood results to come in and I will never forget the day the oncologist gave me “that look”. Modern medicine gave me a gift. A gift of choice. And I took it. A full hysterectomy and double mastectomy were not brave decisions – it was an opportunity to be there to watch my 3 children grow.
It was during this time I learnt so much; to trust the amazing doctors, accept the love and help from friends and family, to open my heart to my feelings, to dig deep for strength and courage I didn’t think I had. With every operation came one step closer to mental and physical freedom. I quickly understood the importance of my role as mum and wife as they shared and supported me during this turbulent time but most importantly, that we all heal. One day I hope to look back on it as a distant memory and be grateful that I had the chance to actually look back.
|Always being large busted, I had grown up self-checking myself. Then one morning when coming out of the shower I found a lump. I waited a week to see if it went away; but it didn’t. After doctors’ appointments, scans, a mammogram and biopsy, on the 4th October 2013 I was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I was 36 years old and my children were 3 years old and 7 months. After an eventful year already with an unplanned home birth of my second child (on our bed!!) and recovering from severe post-natal depression, this was almost laughable! Seriously?!? This was happening to me?!? As I sat in a dark room feeding my baby in the middle of the night, I knew that there was no way I wasn’t going to be around to see them grow up.
And luckily, I am still here to tell the story. After a lumpectomy it was discovered that the cancer had not spread but due to the type of cancer I underwent 3 months of chemotherapy and a year of Herceptin. Following this and a negative genetic testing result to the BRCA gene, I decided to go ahead and have a double mastectomy with reconstruction as a precaution for it not to come back.