Morning tea at Tailem Bend raises $2300 for breast cancer patients
The event also proved a blessing to local woman Megan Dew as she fights the disease.
This story about public health is free to read. Please help Murray Bridge News tell more local stories by subscribing.
A morning tea at Tailem Bend has raised more than $2300 to support breast cancer patients – and come as a blessing to a local woman who is fighting the disease.
Megan “Megsy” Dew was diagnosed by chance after experiencing soreness in one breast following a COVID-19 vaccination.
That soreness turned out to be nothing, but a precautionary mammogram showed up a cancer in her other breast.
It was an aggressive “triple-negative” type, too, experienced by only a small fraction of breast cancer patients.
“If it wasn’t for that soreness, it would never have been found,” she said.
“By the time I would have had my normal mammogram, at 50, it would’ve been no use.”
Ironically, she had been growing her hair out for three years, with a plan to shave it off for charity this year and have it made into a wig for a cancer patient.
Little did she know she would end up needing that wig herself.
Her past few months have been rocky, with surgery in January followed by chemotherapy and radiotherapy, not to mention the financial struggles that come with regular hospital trips.
So a morning tea last Thursday, hosted by a group of local women who regularly catch up over coffee, was a welcome distraction.
The group even presented her with vouchers for a hot lap at the Bend Motorsport Park, and dinner and a night's accommodation at the Rydges Pit Lane Hotel.
“To say I was stunned would be an understatement,” she said on an online fundraising page afterwards.
“I’m rarely lost for words; this time I was.
“I had a few tears and a lot of smiles.”
About 60 people attended the morning tea at Tailem Bend Golf Club, which raised about $2200 for the McGrath Foundation.
The organisers – “coffee ladies” Maxine Kiddie, Annette Burt, Jeanette Kozikowski, Julie Blac, Margaret Jaensch, Jill Stapleton, Jill Rowe and Janette Dahlitz – also passed on $200 worth of items to breast care nurse Annie Williams, to be given to patients in need.
Ms Kiddie said Ms Dew had been the inspiration for the whole event.
“Marg Jaensch and I were sitting outside the newsagency one day, selling raffle tickets, when Megan came up,” she said.
“She had her hands full of medication, she’d just been in the chemist’s shop, she told us she’d just been diagnosed with cancer.
“Megan is new to the community ... but she’s very bubbly, a loveable character.”
Her experience had served as a wake-up call to everyone who heard her story, Ms Kiddie said.
“(Breast cancer) is one of those things that can happen to anyone,” she said.
“But that’s the beauty of a little town like this – you get the support.”
Donate to Megan Dew: www.gofundme.com.
Donate to the McGrath Foundation: www.mcgrathfoundation.com.au.
What to do if you’re worried about breast cancer
It is important to get to know the normal look and feel of your breasts so you can detect any changes if they occur.
Watch our for:
A new lump or lumpiness, especially when it is in only one breast
A change in your breast's size or shape
Changes to or discharge from your nipple
Changes in your skin, such as redness, dimpling or puckered skin
If you are worried, see your doctor.
Women aged 50 to 74 are also eligible for a free breast screen through Breast Screen SA.
Women aged in their 40s, or 75 and over, are also eligible, but should speak to their doctor or a Breast Screen SA medical officer to decide whether a screen is right for them.
A mobile Breast Screen SA clinic will be located at the Murray Bridge hospital until April 21.
You can help keep local stories like this one free for everyone to read. Subscribe to Murray Bridge News today and support your independent, locally owned news service, plus get access to exclusive stories you won’t find anywhere else, from just $5 a month.