Daughters run Joondalup Wanneroo Relay for Life for their mum


Tara, Sue and Eva O’Neill will be at the Joondalup Wanneroo Relay for Life in October.
Tara, Sue and Eva O’Neill will be at the Joondalup Wanneroo Relay for Life in October.

EARLY in 2015, Sue O’Neill, who is a registered nurse, realised a small lump on her neck wasn’t going away, so she made an appointment to see her doctor.

“A close friend thought going to the doctor about a little lump on my neck was making a fuss over nothing,” Sue said. “But my training as a nurse made me want to check it out.

“After examining the lump the doctor said there were no signs of infection, but to be on the safe side he prescribed a course of antibiotics. However, despite the antibiotics, the lump remained, so the doctor ordered a biopsy.”

The biopsy news was not good. Sue’s lump was a secondary depositary of a primary growth to somewhere else. Or put more simply, she had cancer. Sue told her daughters Eva and Tara she had cancer, and both were shocked.

“When Mum said she had cancer, it suddenly became a big, scary word,” Eva said.

Tara, who is a carer at Brightwater, helped her mother while she underwent 35 radiotherapy treatments and three rounds of chemotherapy. “It touched my heart to see Mum go through all that,” Tara said.

Meanwhile, Eva was determined to do what she could to fight cancer and formed a Relay for Life team, which took part in the Cancer Council WA’s 2015 Joondalup Wanneroo Relay for Life at Arena Joondalup.

“Mum was pretty weak at the time, but she joined the team,” Eva said. “This year she is so much stronger and we will be back with a bigger and happier team in October. We call our team ‘Bake and Shake’ but we don’t do much baking.”

The Cancer Council’s 2016 Joondalup Wanneroo Relay for Life will be held at Arena Joondalup over the October 22-23 weekend.

Funds raised in the lead-up to the 24-hour October event will assist the council with its cancer research and support programs.

For more information on joining or forming a relay team, call 0417 922 726 or email relayforlifejoondalupwanneroo@gmail.com.