Cancer survivor Karissa Lewis’s inspiring message

'SMELL THE ROSES': Karissa Lewis delivered an inspiring and emotional speech at the Hunter breast care fundraiser breakfast on Thursday. Picture: Marina Neil
'SMELL THE ROSES': Karissa Lewis delivered an inspiring and emotional speech at the Hunter breast care fundraiser breakfast on Thursday. Picture: Marina Neil

BREAST cancer was one of the “best” things that ever happened to Karissa Lewis.

Speaking to 300 guests at the Hunter’s annual breast care fundraiser breakfast, Ms Lewis said her diagnosis three years ago led to her making major life changes and putting herself first for the first time in her life.

Her inspirational account of the journey to beat the disease left many in the Starlight Room at Wests New Lambton in tears.

More than $19,500 was raised at the breakfast to continue supporting the Hunter Nurse Education Group.  The event has now raised more than $213,000 over the past 11 years.

Steve Meyn, managing director of PKF Newcastle, said every dollar raised would stay in the Hunter to help specialist breast care nurses.

Vicki Sproule, co-chair of the Hunter Nurse Education Group, said the funding provided support and education for nurses in surgical wards, oncology wards, radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment, community health, palliative care, clinical trials and breast cancer research.

Mr Meyn said it was a “great morning”.

PACKED: More than 300 people attended the breakfast at Wests New Lambton, raising almost $20,000 for breast cancer nurses in the region.

PACKED: More than 300 people attended the breakfast at Wests New Lambton, raising almost $20,000 for breast cancer nurses in the region.

“Karissa is a truly amazing woman having been through so much and listening to her story truly inspired us all,” he said.

“PKF is very proud to have initiated and partner with the Wests Group and Newcastle Herald as major sponsors of this event for the benefit of people of the Hunter”.