Proudly supporting Breast Cancer Network Australia
Leah Rando

Leah Rando 

Supporting Breast Cancer Network Australia in El Camino
Raised of my $4,000 goal
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Why I am supporting Breast Cancer Network Australia

My Story

In June 2013 at the age of 45, I was diagnosed with DCIS in my right breast. I remember every detail of that day; the heightened emotions and particularly the initial fear and uncertainty of what was going to happen. Was I going to die? What about my husband and my son? What would I look like if I lost my hair? My beautiful curly hair that so many identified me with. All these questions rolled into one stress ball tightly knotted up in my stomach. Some very real and some very superficial, but all very significant at the time. And then I remembered who I was and that I was too busy to die! I had too much to do…raise my son, my step children, be the wife, daughter and sister that I wanted to be…yeah, too busy to fall off the perch yet! So, I used this to motivate me to find the positives. I could hear the words of my dad….”there is a positive in every situation”. At the time, it was like…yeah right! In reflection, it became my truth. So I set about looking at what I could control and that was my attitude to the whole situation. I had a choice. Let it beat me emotionally and physically, or make a conscious decision to find my new normal. As a fiercely independent woman, I had to let others love and support me the way that they knew how and allow myself to be open to new ways of receiving support. I learnt that others were more concerned for me than I was for myself, because I knew that my normality was about to change. I was OK with that, but it was those around me who found the possibility of my changes difficult. I can now confidently say that I think that those who have known me for a long time and those who meet me for the first time, like the new version of me, because of my positivity and strength that I now have. What do I do with this new found focus? Share it, live it and use it to motivate me towards betterment and help others do the same. To live life with this new enrichment is very fulfilling and it is now the strength of my business and my connections with others. My surgery scars are a reminder of my journey and the people, especially the medical and BCNA staff, who gave me the support material and encouragement that I needed on my journey. So, why El-Camino and why Spain? For the past 4 years I have read the emails and contemplated joining one of the treks, however, I think it was the lack of courage, more so than timing, that prevented me from moving forward. This time it is different, as I have been part of some amazing BCNA functions and have been further involved as a volunteer for some community groups who provide support to breast cancer patients and survivors. I have experienced the good of such a service, so paying it forward is important. At no point during my five surgeries did I ever feel that I did not have the backing of wonderful people and services behind me. I want this for others. Along with my husband, Paul, my son Blake rode this journey with me and has been pivotal in my recovery. Now that Blake is studying in Spain, this means that I have an opportunity to fulfill my personal commitment and honour those who fought tough against this disease and support those still fighting, as well as show those closest to me that their love and support has me trekking in Spain. So, I am taking part in El Camino to raise much needed funds for Breast Cancer Network Australia. Their work is vital but there is only so much I can do on my own. You can help too, by donating to my page. Any amount you can give makes a difference! You can also support me by encouraging others to get involved, too. Please email the link to my page to your friends and family, or share it on social media. Thank you for your generosity and support -- it means a lot to me. Together we can help Breast Cancer Network Australia create the world we want to see. Leah xx

About El Camino

As part of Breast Cancer Network Australia’s Pink Lady El Camino Trek you will join a group of inspiring individuals dedicated to supporting all Australians affected by breast cancer.

On arrival in Madrid, Spain’s bustling capital city, you will set off on a guided tour, exploring the city’s highlights from past to present. You will then travel beyond city limits to embark on the Camino de Santiago. 

From Sarria to Santiago, you will trek under the shade of old oak trees into peaceful hamlets set against the rolling green backdrop of Galicia. At night, you will experience Spain’s colourful culture and cuisine. 

On what other adventure can you follow in the footsteps of the Romans, the Knights Templar, pilgrims and modern day adventurers to Santiago de Compostela?

Best of all, every step you take helps raise vital funds for BCNA to provide free programs, resources and support to all Australians affected by breast cancer.

About my cause: Breast Cancer Network Australia

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) works to ensure that Australians affected by breast cancer receive the very best support, information, treatment and care appropriate to their individual needs.

BCNA is the peak national organisation for Australians affected by breast cancer, and consists of a network of more than 120,000 members and 300 Member Groups. More than 90 per cent of our members have had a diagnosis of breast cancer, and the remaining members have had a personal experience with breast cancer through a family member or friend.

We are represented by the Pink Lady silhouette, symbolic of our focus on the women diagnosed with breast cancer and all those around her.
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