Daffodil Day: 94yo breast cancer survivor still volunteering


Sheila Hogan (94) has been volunteering for the Cancer council for 29 years and is also a breast cancer survivor. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Sheila Hogan (94) has been volunteering for the Cancer council for 29 years and is also a breast cancer survivor. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

ACCORDING to 94-year-old breast cancer survivor Sheila Hogan, you get more than you give with volunteer work.

The Innaloo resident, who has volunteered for 29 years for Cancer Council WA, has come out of ‘retirement’ to raise funds once again for cancer council’s annual Daffodil Day on August 26.

“I maintain that if you do voluntary work you get more back than you give,” Ms Hogan said.

“It really does make a difference to people.”

During the 1980s, Ms Hogan volunteered to make wigs and fringes for women undergoing chemotherapy in hospital.

“People used to get very stressed out particularly if they were elderly,” she said.

“One particular lady only had one son and I said to her I have got a phone next to my bed, anytime you want to talk give me a call.”

Cancer Council now has free phone line for cancer information and support.

Ms Hogan said she had her mastectomy in 1975 and used her experiences to help others when she worked as a volunteer.

“If you’ve been there done it, you can talk to other people about it and help other people,” she said.

“It was sad to see some of them in hospital but because I’d been there before I was able to help them.

Ms Hogan said in the 1970s the attitudes towards cancer were very different.

“When I first started people would whisper the word cancer, as if it was something you didn’t talk about,” she said.

“People know more about cancer now and there is a lot more hope and optimism about research, which is why people don’t worry about wearing wigs so much.

“People don’t feel like they have to hide it now.”

Ms Hogan will be selling Daffodil Day pins and flowers at Gwelup Shopping Centre.

– It is estimated that over 1.1 million Australians either have survived a diagnosis or are currently living with cancer.

– It is estimated that over 130,000 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer this year (this means over 350 Australians each day are diagnosed with cancer).

– One in two Australian men and one in three Australian women will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85.

– Today, more than 65 per cent of people will still be alive five years after a cancer diagnosis. This is an increase of more than 20 per cent since the 1980s.