Ovarian Cancer Exposed
Mackay Mother’s Strength, Sadness and Shocking Diagnosis Brings a Community Together to Conquer Cancer
One glance at the Crowley family and it’s clear to see the beauty and strength of our featured family, both inside and out.
However, behind the brave smiles, the loving touches and the stunning setting is a family who is embarking on a journey no one wants to go through – a journey that will end in a loss of a loved one.
Please, join us for this inspirational and heartbreaking story of Trudy Crowley, 42, a wife, a mother, a grandmother (with her second grandbaby due February 2017) and life-long Mackay community member who is spending her last months fighting for future generations diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
On Friday, February 26 2016, Trudy Crowley left her office at Gardian Real Estate in Mackay like she had been doing for the past two years. Little did she know that less than three weeks later she would discover that she not only had cancer, but that it was incurable.
What started as a simple pain in the kidney area and lump in her neck and exhaustion was quickly diagnosed as incurable ovarian cancer, stage 4 grade 3.
“I was trying to take this all in while watching my beautiful husband fall to pieces in front of me. How can this be happening?” Trudy tells PakMag about her shock diagnosis.
This is not a road that Trudy is unfamiliar with. Just eight years earlier Trudy lost her mother to Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.
“This was all too close to me as I had to go through this with losing my mother. The pain is still raw and what hurt the most is knowing that my family has to go through this again.”
“This is a horrible pain for a mother/wife as there is nothing in the world I can do about this to take the hurt and heartbreak away.”
Trudy’s family, including husband Damian, sons Jacob and Levi, daughter-in-law Melissa and future daughter-in-law Kaylissa, plus grandson Ryan, have remained by Trudy’s side as she endures the fight of her life.
“We are meant to protect our love ones,” Trudy says.
But, after further diagnosis from her oncologist that she has about 12 months left, Trudy came to the awful realisation that she would be unable to do this.
Despite it all, Trudy remains in control and an absolute inspiration to the entire community. “I am not going to let this take control of our life,” Trudy tells PakMag. And she has now made it her mission to try to ensure other families do not have to go through this.
“I will live like I have 12 months but I have too much to do and achieve and one of them is making sure people know about this silent killer and raising money for ovarian cancer research so we can find a test to detect this before it is too late.”
This is why Trudy, in conjunction with Red Hot Blue started The Nude Lunch – Ovarian Cancer Exposed.
“Nude Lunch – Ovarian Cancer Exposed, is a first for the Mackay Region and is something that is essential for our community.”
It will be an annual event to bare the truth about this silent killer, to raise money to ensure research for ovarian cancer can continue and to ensure a greater awareness is being delivered. But, mostly, it will celebrate the strength and bravery of all of those affected by it.
“Just recently a nine-year-girl in our Mackay community was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, shocking the region and the nation as it made headline news,” Trudy explains. “It is for this reason people need to be aware of the signs and greater research needs to be conducted to ensure tests for better early detection are available.”
For Trudy, her mission, apart from raising awareness for ovarian cancer, is to be there to meet her second grandchild, who is due one year after she received her shock diagnoses.
Trudy tells us that the birth of her second grandchild is, “another exciting tick for me to achieve in life”.
With the support of her loving family, Trudy is focusing on staying positive, getting in as much travelling as possible and spending every last moment surrounded by the people who mean the most to her.
She is also hoping her story will inspire others to take the steps to early diagnosis and prevention.
“Make sure you know your family history. Get tested if there is history in the family of breast or ovarian cancer. And, if you do have the mutated gene, then take the precautions.”
Trudy is currently undergoing testing to see if she carries the Braca gene, which can be passed down to her boys in the form of breast or prostate cancer for men.
“I am making sure our next generation can detect as early as possible before it is too late.”
Join Trudy for The Nude Lunch on 23 September 2016 or find out more about how you can help her cause and purchase tickets at www.redhotblue.com.au.