Connie has one goal … and it is absolutely heartbreaking.
“My goal is that young mothers will not have to say goodbye to their kids, like I’ll have to say goodbye to mine.”
It is that simple. Connie has breast cancer and it is terminal. She went undiagnosed for three years. She was told that she just “had mastitis” and even when she raised the possibility of breast cancer she was told that she was “too young”.
“If I had been more proactive about my health I wouldn’t be in this position now,” the 35-year-old says during a phone interview with the Bub Hub.
“Now I want to spread awareness – everyone should be awre of their health and take responsibility for it. If the pain and symptoms continue – look outside the box and ask more questions!”
Connie is not alone in her quest to raise awareness and spread the word about early detection and how it saves lives.
Her brother is actor Samuel Johnson, from The Secret Life of Us, Crackerjack, Underbelly II and Network Ten’s Rush, and he’s doing his part in the campaign by riding a unicycle around Australia in an attempt to break the current world record.
He’ll have to ride past the 15,000km mark and he’ll be on the road for more than a year – a tough assignment, especially when his sister doesn’t know how long she’s got.
“(The day he set off) was a really bittersweet day,” says Connie.
“I am so proud of him and we are reaching our goals … but at the same time I do miss him. I miss him terribly and I don’t know what life has in store for me – what my life expectancy is.
“Hopefully I’ll make it to the end.
“It is worth the sacrifice though. We wanted this to be bigger than him and me.”
And already, it is. Samuel is still only at the start of his journey (he has just reached Darwin) but already Connie has been contacted by two women who’ve recently found out that they’re in the early stages of Breast Cancer.
They were tested because they’d heard of Connie’s story and because the cancer was detected early the prognosis is very good.
“That is exactly what we set out to do,” says Connie.
What can you do?
You can pledge:
- to donate to their cause – the Garvan Research Foundation.
- to get tested for breast cancer.
- to organise a fundraiser with other hubbers, or real-life friends.
- to spread the message – Don’t fall into the booby-trap, be breast aware!
- to follow Samuel’s journey – send him a dare or head out to welcome him to your town!
Or make up a pledge of your own!