Dialog Box

Helping Em Bendezu

Helping Em Bendezu

$4,395
raised of
$15,000 goal
Thanks to
14 supporters
I was born in Peru and moved to Australia eight years ago. 

Settling into a new culture wasn’t easy; I had to learn a new language and start working in an environment that was completely different to what I was used to. But gradually, you get used to it and start to feel at home. 

Here in Melbourne, I only have my daughter and my son-in-law. I have a niece who lives in Brisbane with her husband and kids. 

I’ve made some friends, but not many. I work as a housekeeper, which is a very physical job. 

I was diagnosed in January 2024 with endometrial cancer, high-grade serous, which is HER2 positive. When I was diagnosed, I had to give up my work. 

I’m paying off a mortgage to the bank, and it’s not easy at all. 

It all started with pelvic pain. My GP thought it might just be a urinary tract infection, but a CT scan showed multiple swollen lymph nodes in my abdomen. That’s when they began the multiple tests, scans and biopsies. 

Finally, after four months of searching, they found a tumour in my uterus. It wasn’t until after I had a hysterectomy that I found out the tumour was malignant and the cancer was very aggressive and rare. 

Everything happened too quickly to process; I just started taking it day by day.

I wasn’t used to feeling any discomfort because I’ve always been a healthy and strong person. Now I have to face chemotherapy and radiotherapy and deal with the side effects.

Under my visa guidelines, I’m not eligible for any Australian government support until 2026.

I’m currently having radiotherapy, but I need help to pay for a HER2-targeted agent with my chemotherapy called Trastuzumab. I’m expecting to be on that as maintenance therapy for between 12 months and five years.

The first cycle costs $900, then it will cost $450 every three weeks for as long as I’m able to take it. 

The same drug is listed on the PBS for other patients, so they pay just $31.60 each cycle, but it is only approved for certain cancers – not mine.

It’s not easy, but we keep going because this is just a stage in my life. 


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