When University of Canberra alumna, Sarah Mamalai was 33, she was diagnosed with grade four brain cancer and told she had just three to 18 months to live.
This diagnosis was incredibly devastating to Sarah, her husband Oscar, and their two sons Joe and William, who were just four and 18 months old at the time. After undergoing her first surgery to debulk the tumour, Sarah was told that there was nothing more that could be done.
“After my first surgery, my neurosurgeon told me and my husband to go home and make memories with our children. I couldn’t accept that, and I wanted to see my boys grow up more than anything.”
Distraught and hopeless, Sarah and her family sought a second opinion, and found a surgeon willing to operate and remove the remaining bulk of the tumour.
Now, 15 years on, Sarah is still with us. But the detrimental health effects of numerous surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatment have severely impacted her physical and mental wellbeing.
Sadly, Sarah is just one of many impacted by cancer who have fallen through the cracks of the healthcare system.
The PACES (Pre
-habilitation, Activity, Cancer, Exercise and Survivorship) research group at the University of Canberra is ensuring that Sarah’s experience is a thing of the past.
Making certain that those affected by cancer can receive personalised, holistic, timely, and accessible care, PACES is working hard to support individuals and their families from the point of diagnosis, before and during active treatment, and into survivorship.
This globally recognised research is happening right here in the ACT and has led to the UC Cancer Recovery Program. Allowing those who have been diagnosed with cancer here in our community, to receive subsidised, tailored, multi-disciplinary healthcare that is proven to benefit their long-term physical and psychological health and wellbeing. Positively impacting recovery, treatment effectiveness, and can reduce disease recurrence, improving quality of life as a result.
That is why we are funding pioneer research efforts, delivering globally recognised innovative research that is making a real-world difference in the healthcare system and changing the models of care for those affected by cancer.
I am proud that my participation in the Cancer Recovery Program contributes towards global and impactful research which will have a positive impact to future cancer patients and better survivorship.
Sarah Mamalai | Participant of the UC Cancer Recovery Program
A gift to the Cancer Research and Recovery Fund will change the lives of people living with a cancer diagnosis. Help us drive research and change the future of care for those affected by cancer.
Please give today and help people like Sarah thrive, not just survive.
How can you help?
- Donating $5000 will ensure that the PACES team can continue to drive research forward in cancer survivorship care.
- Donating $1000 will see one client through a full research pre-habilitation program which includes: exercise, nutrition, and psychology.
- Donating $250 will fund a client through a 6-week exercise program.
- Donating $75 will fund one hour of vital PACES research.
- Donating $30 will pay for a client’s initial exercise session.