ADORNED in a purple tutu and striped purple bra, Susannah Morris set out on her shark swim.
The Dalkeith resident was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, and took to the tank at AQWA with family and friends watching on to raise funds for Breast Cancer Care WA.
“Before I had my diagnosis, I used to worry about sharks. I love the ocean, we’re so lucky with the coast we’ve got, but I would go in and hear the Jaws music while I was swimming,” Dr Morris said.
“But when I had my diagnosis, I realised the ocean was my friend. Swimming in the ocean got me through my chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It’s about choosing what to worry about, looking at relative risks. Sharks are not a great risk in our lives, but cancer is.”
Dr Morris was originally prompted to get her breasts checked after her teenage daughter found a lump in her own breast; Dr Morris was told to get a scan, which revealed her cancer.
She said she is still undergoing treatment but is now in the “peacekeeping phase” as opposed to the “big army”, and said she wanted to give back to an organisation that had done so much for her.
Breast Cancer Care WA’s IGA Purple Bra Day campaign is currently underway to raise funds for their free services for breast cancer patients, including breast care nursing, counselling and financial support.
Dr Morris was determined to confront her fears and swim with sharks to make a splash for the campaign.
Dive Ski Surf in Fremantle sponsored her in her diving quest, with Keith Whittaker her instructor for the last few weeks of training.
“I know many people who worry about the risks of the ocean, who say ‘you swim at Cott, you swim on the other side of the pylon, you take your children swimming there?’ and yet they don’t take the time to look after their own health,” she said.
Dr Morris encouraged all women over 40 to take advantage of free mammograms every two years and do monthly breast checks.
To donate to Susannah’s cause, visit https://bit.ly/2KqZhHr.