48 year old Karen is a devoted wife to Matt and the mother of 10-year-old Jacob and 12-year-old Zoe. On Boxing Day 2018, she was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the cervix.
Karen grew up in the Adelaide Hills excelling at sport and eventually going on to a successful career in Production Management. When she married Matt she selflessly gave up her career and any financial gain to focus her attention on raising her two beautiful children, Zoe and Jacob.
She is a passionate self-taught cook, treating her family to new recipes she is trying to master, with a strong focus on health and nutrition. She doesn’t do anything by halves, throwing herself into learning everything she can about her new passions. This tenacity was on display when after 11 years she decided it was time to re-enter the workforce part time, while still managing the home duties.
She is now putting all that tenacity, and hard work ethic into battling this disease with everything she has.
It has been a devastating shock to her and her family as what started with the only symptom being a swollen right ankle that her GP initially believed might be kidney stones, ended in emergency surgery to perform a nephrostomy, followed by a life-changing diagnosis. Stage IV Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the cervix.
3 weeks of recovery and rehab from surgery to reconstruct her bladder was quickly followed by 6 rounds of chemotherapy. Whilst this initially proved to show good results, after 12 months the cancer has now progressed.
Despite regular pap smears and check-ups having developed pre-cancerous cells after the birth of Zoe, a rogue cell found its way towards Karen’s kidney. The doctors have said she probably had a better chance of winning Power Ball than developing cancer in this way.
With no clinical trials available to her in Adelaide and inter-state options not viable due to delays and the need for urgency, her family has no choice but to self-fund these promising and potentially lifesaving drugs themselves.
The drugs are immensely expensive. We are beyond grateful for any support from the Australian community in order to help Karen have the best possible chance.