DANIELLE Wright was 27 when she underwent surgery for what doctors suspected was appendicitis.
“I went into surgery to have my appendix removed, and came out with Stage 3 low-grade serous carcinoma of the ovaries,” the Cameron Park mother, now 30, said.
“My first thought was for my kids. How do they grow up without a mum? I knew then and there I had a fight on my hands.
“While ever I have them, I have something to fight for.”
Ms Wright had two radical surgeries – including a 12-hour “debulking” surgery – within two years.
“They did a radical hysterectomy – so they took my tubes, my uterus, my ovaries, my cervix. I also had a small and large bowel resection, a liver resection. A bladder dissection, an omentectomy, and a splenectomy – everything that the tumour had touched or affected, they took.
“I had 18 weekly chemo sessions after that, and it still came back 14 months later.”
On Thursday, Ms Wright joined local radio personality Jill Emberson, who also has ovarian cancer, to appeal for people to support the Hope4Cure Christmas In July fundraiser at the Newcastle Club on July 21.
The gala event aims to raise $20,000 to support Hunter researchers and fund local clinical trials into gynaecological cancers.
“The treatments and research for ovarian cancer hasn’t changed much in 30 years, so we need the funds, and we need the awareness, to change these statistics so more people do survive,” Ms Wright said.
“This has taught me to appreciate every day, and love the ones that love me.
“To take every day as it comes, and just hope we can raise the funds for the research and the treatment that women like me need.”
Ms Wright said her experience had been physically, and mentally, challenging.
But she had a lot of hope for the future.
“I had some scans last month and there has been no change in 12 months, which is great,” she said.
“A lot of people assume ovarian cancer is an older person’s disease.
“But if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.”
Sarah Frith, the founder of Hope4Cure, said 100 per cent of the money raised from the July event would go towards a grant fund to be administered by the charity alongside the Calvary Mater.
“All of the funds will stay in the Hunter Region,” Ms Frith said. “Hope4Cure is about locals supporting locals, and we have had some wonderful support already.”
Tickets to the Christmas in July event are $150, available via hope4cure.org.au.
Ms Frith said the night’s entertainment would be provided by an “internationally renowned” surprise act.