They say cancer will change your life, no matter if it touches you directly or someone you love. Either way, it changes how you see and value life. It makes you realise how fragile the human body is and how uncertain humanity’s defences against it are.
My name is Nicole Gama, I am the editor of Northern Beaches Mums and cancer has left its traces in my family’s life.
You may be thinking that I’m a cancer survivor to be writing about this, but no, I am not. I have never battled cancer nor ever wish to encounter it directly. But, cancer has a very special place in my heart. The vicious disease struck my family more than once and has made some people very dear to me succumb to it’s grasp.
I come from a multi-racial family. I’m a Finish-Swede descent with a South African mum. Eighteen years ago, we moved to Australia, which we now call home! I am married to a Brazilian with an almost 2 year old daughter.
My granddad, on my mum’s side, had prostate cancer when he was younger and still living in South Africa. As he was stronger back then, he was able to jump through that hurdle. Thank god! But years after he moved to Australia he was diagnosed with lung cancer. We couldn’t have prepared ourselves for what happened next. His cancer was at such a late stage that it progressed at an incredible rate. He got sick very quickly and was in hospital for months until he was moved to a home where he could get the care he needed. A week later, unfortunately he succumbed to lung cancer. I felt helpless and was utterly devastated. My granddad was one of my most favourite people and losing him to something so dire was very difficult. To this day, I miss him dearly.
My grandmother, on my dads’s side, also fought breast cancer many years before she passed. Still, it was a trace of cancer that will never fade. Which is why I’m such an advocate for any cause that goes towards cancer patients or finding cure for the detestable disease.
This year, I have taken the challenge of stepping out of my comfort zone to help make a difference by participating in the Stars on the Beaches in support of the Cancer Council NSW. The Stars on the Beaches is the local Dancing with the Stars, where we are paired up with a professional dancer and learn a dance over 8 weeks. We will then all perform it at a special event… this year is is being held on Saturday 14th of April at Miramare Gardens in Terrey Hills. There are 12 ‘stars’ all dancing for this cause!
Dancing is special to me… I danced throughout my childhood, my mum was Prima Ballerina and my daughter is now attending Baby Ballet once a week. So, I figured, what better way to raise money for the Cancer Council NSW than doing something I used to love, right?
I decided to join to give support to Cancer Council NSW but also to raise awareness that cancer is still very rampant, very real and can happen to anyone. I am representing all of you, the Northern Beaches Mums, so let’s together and make a difference!