Moments With Mum
For Mother’s Day 2017, McGrath Foundation are encouraging people all over Australia to make a moment with Mum a moment that matters. Research released by the McGrath Foundation to coincide with Mother’s Day in 2017 revealed that while half of all Australian women (49 per cent) believe that mums are best placed to first educate young women on the importance of being breast aware, only a quarter of women have had a conversation with their mother about breast awareness. And only 12 per cent had their first conversation about breast awareness with their mum.
Jane McGrath was first diagnosed with breast cancer aged 31, and believed passionately that the more people knew about their bodies, the more quickly and easily they’d be able to identify any changes, and seek medical advice. McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Samantha Burns, lost her own mum at a young age. As she prepares to become a mother herself, she reflects on those moments that matter, and her special role in supporting families experiencing breast cancer.
Q; Why did you become a McGrath Breast Care Nurse?
Som: My mum passed away when I was six. actually from cancer, so I think that helped guide me to this career and allows me to be the nurse and the woman and the friend that I am today. I think I always wanted to go into oncology nursing and look after patients going through cancer. and to give back what the nurses did so wonderfully for our family; to give them the support and the care that was given to us.
Q; What’s it like, being a McGrath Breast Core Nurse?
Sam: It is a wonderful role and such an amazing experience. I just love to be able to be there for my patients and their families at a time when it is so difficult for them. The best part of my job is having the simple conversations with my patients, to answer questions that might seem trivial but ore so important for them. For women who are mothers going through breast cancer. it’s a very emotional experience and a very challenging time for them.
Q.: What would you say to families who have a mum undergoing treatment around Mother’s Day?
Sam: It’s really important that you sit down and have a discussion with your mum; -find out what her fears are. Just sit down and have that open discussion about what she is going through. It might mean giving her feet a rub or a hug. just the simple things, but it’s often the simple things we do that make a difference.
Q.: How important is it for mums to discuss their experiences with their daughters?
Sam: It’s really important for mums to sit down and have that conversation with their daughters. We look up to our mums; they’re the ones we trust, that provide us with guidance and the first ones who really influence us when we’re young. So I think it’s really important because mums can help create that awareness. empowerment and connection with our bodies and with who we are.
Q.: You lost your mum at such a young age. and you’re about to become a mother yourself. How do those experiences contribute to how you approach your job?
Sam: Although she was only port of my life for such o short period of time. my mum was a very strong woman, very smart and just wonderful. I hope she would be so happy that I’ve turned such a sad event in my life into making a wonderful career where I con provide core and support to my patients. I’m going to become a mum for the first time this year, and I hope that my son or daughter will be strong and courageous. and to be open and hove the really important conversations that matter. And for people going through breast cancer, I take those experiences to say: Be strong and courageous. Breast cancer does not define who you ore. Allow the support and love of those around you to get you through.
Challenger realises the importance for this conversation to take place and for funds to be raised in order to support more McGrath Breast Care Nurses like Sam, to help families who are battling breast cancer. That is why for every Challenger product bought, there will be a donation that goes towards the McGrath Foundation.