In the first week of December 2018, 31-year-old Canberra mother of one, Elizabeth Pickworth was diagnosed with cancer of the Thymus gland, a rare cancer that affects less than 1 person per 1.5 million population.
Elizabeth’s cancer was advanced, a stage IV thymoma 11x12x15cm in size situated above her heart, surrounding her major arteries – the size and location making surgery very risky. Prior to surgery, Elizabeth had three months of chemotherapy but it was unsuccessful in shrinking the tumour. On her 32nd birthday in 2019, she travelled with her family to Sydney to have the tumour removed along with most of her left lung and her diaphragm removed and reconstructed using Gore-Tex. It was a 20-hour surgery, requiring over a month in hospital and six months off work but it was successful in removing the tumour and leaving her cancer-free for a while.
However, in late 2020 Elizabeth’s Stage IV cancer returned, and she requires six months of chemotherapy and is now half-way through treatment.
Despite the news and extensive treatment required, Elizabeth continued to work to support her family and maintain a positive attitude however, she has recently resigned from her role so that she can focus on the next three months of treatment and getting well for her family.
Elizabeth will require time off work again for the second half of chemotherapy, and we would like to make life a little easier for her and her family by encouraging people to donate to ensure she can get as much rest to recover and not have to worry about finances for a while.