The last thing Sandra Sandoval wants is to leave her family behind.
For a mother of two young children, the loss of her oldest daughter to breast cancer has left her feeling alone.
“I’m sad, lonely and alone, I can’t even talk to anyone, it’s very hard,” she said.
Ms Sandoval, who runs a catering business, is also a regular on the television news and has also been involved in campaigns for breast cancer awareness and fundraising. “
We just want them to know that we love them and we are not going anywhere.”
Ms Sandoval, who runs a catering business, is also a regular on the television news and has also been involved in campaigns for breast cancer awareness and fundraising.
“It’s hard for a mother to watch their children grow up,” she says.
“So we want to raise awareness of breast cancer, for women to talk about it, for men to talk to their friends about it and for everyone to know it is a problem and there are resources.”
For Ms Sandvil, the emotional impact of her loss has been devastating.
“Sometimes I just cry because it is so hard to think about it,” she admits.
“When I think about my oldest daughter and I don’t know what to do, I just sit on the couch, thinking about what’s going to happen to her.”
“When you lose someone so young, it can really affect a person.
It’s a very sad thing to go through.”
Ms Singson, a single mother, has also had to work with her children in a way she had never experienced before.
“My youngest is 15 and I feel sad, I feel alone,” she explains.
“That’s why I’ve decided to give breast cancer research a try, so I can see what I can do.”
Her children, however, have been able to take part in a number of breast care and fundraising events, and have raised $500 to date for breast care charities.
Ms Sandovals support from her extended family has been an immense blessing, and she has found it difficult to be alone.
While she says she has had support from family and friends, her own sense of loneliness is still very real.
“Every single time I open my mouth, I start crying because I know that I’m not doing anything right,” she reveals.
“There is no one I can turn to for support.”
For some, breast cancer is just one of many issues they struggle with.
“For many women, breast surgery is the last thing they want to deal with.
It may not be the best thing for them,” says Dr David Pritchard, a breast cancer researcher at the University of Western Australia.
“Some women may have been treated for cancer before but may not have had the resources to go to a specialist.”
Dr Pritchers research into breast cancer found that a woman with a breast biopsy was 50 per cent more likely to die than a woman without one.
Dr Protchers also found that those who had a biopsy within three years were 50 per head less likely to live five years after surgery.
“They were more likely if they had a lump on their chest or breast, to die, and they were also more likely not to be able to pay for treatment,” he said.
‘There are lots of other things we need to do’ “There are other things that are going to need to be done to help us all recover from this horrible disease,” Dr Pritchcher says.
One of the things that has been particularly hard for Ms Sandvals is that breast cancer doesn’t discriminate.
“If I have cancer and there is another disease that affects the same area, that is something that is just not fair.”
“So what can we do to make sure that we have a healthy and happy future for our kids?”
Ms Sandival says.
Dr Pridgen says that while it is not easy to say what all the right things are, there are ways that we can be involved in the fight against breast cancer.
“In some ways it’s like playing with fire.
When a fire starts, there is a big amount of smoke, it doesn’t go away and it’s just going to burn and it could cause damage to people’s lives,” he says.
He also believes that while breast cancer can be cured, we have to be aware of its devastating effects.
“Women who have had breast cancer are much more likely than those who don’t to experience psychological distress, or to experience physical harm, or they may be able make a positive contribution to their community, so we need all of us to get involved and help us,” he adds.
For the past seven years, Ms Sandvillas children have taken part in breast cancer education classes and volunteer at a cancer support group.
“This has been really uplifting and has given us a lot of energy,” she concludes.
“Our children are now taking the time to tell their friends, they are also volunteering to help their local