Colin Sharpe was a married father of two when his wife received a diagnoses that would forever change their family. One Sunday night in February Sara, his wife, discovered a lump in her breast, and so began the most traumatic journey of the Sharpe families lives.
“At the time our children were aged 8 and 14, we both worked full time and were very busy. Sara visited the local GP who advised that the lump was breast cancer and she was referred to a specialist. Things moved very quickly from this point with a partial mastectomy followed by a full mastectomy and most lymph nodes being removed,” the Warrandyte local said.
Chemotherapy followed in four-week cycles of three on one off for eight cycles then 30 days of radiation daily. The treatment had finished just before her birthday in December 2012.
It was while Sara was in treatment that the family completed their first Mother’s Day Classic. Sara slowly recovered, and by March 2013 she was starting to feel the worst was behind her, her hair grew back, and she started exercising every day.
“Her exercise and healthy eating had given her immense pride in getting through the treatment and feeling great about herself. We went on a three week holiday to Phuket in July 2013, and she wore a bikini for the first time in her life, she said it was the best holiday she had ever had,” Colin said.
Sara also went to visit her mother in England in September with the children. Upon her return, she developed a cough and felt tired. She went to the local GP who diagnosed whooping cough. A few weeks later she felt worse and went back to be diagnosed with pneumonia.
A few more weeks later she went back and insisted that a scan be undertaken. On Monday, December 1, 2013, she was given the news that she had secondary breast cancer in her liver and lungs.
Sara remained positive, she had beaten it once and would do so again, so she again concentrated on the treatment and trying to get well. The cancer was very aggressive, and the treatment was equally so and she ending up in hospital regularly including Christmas day.
Unfortunately, the cancer was not responding to the treatment, and Sara grew weaker and sicker.
“By late February 2014 she was losing a lot of weight due to not eating and being sick from chemotherapy she went back to the hospital on Thursday 27th February 2014 and passed away on Friday 7th March 2014,” Colin said.
It’s hard to understand what to say to a family that is battling cancer or has lost a loved one to the disease, which is why for many families the Mother’s Day Classic becomes such a part of their lives.
It’s a place where everyone is going through or has been through what you have, a place you don’t feel alone.
“The MDC is important to us as my wife wanted to do it even though she was undergoing chemo at the time, the year she passed we continued in her name with family and friends."