An inspiring Peakhurst woman and mum of two who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019 aged just 36 is calling for locals to donate to cancer research following a funding shortfall during the COVID-19 year.
Sara Monaghan originally found a lump after Christmas, and wasn't concerned as she was so young but decided to get it checked by her GP just in case.
What followed changed her life dramatically, as she was immediately sent for an ultrasound, biopsy and lumpectomy that ultimately confirmed her diagnosis - triple positive breast cancer.
Ms Monaghan's treatment was intense, involving six months of chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy, radiation, a full hysterectomy and she is still on medication to this day.
I will be on some form of treatment for the rest of my life, and I want to make sure it's a long life.Sara Monaghan
She doesn't want anyone else to have to go through what she went through and, in her role as ambassador for the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), is championing early detection.
"Size [of the lump] doesn't matter, it's all about being aware, and understanding the ramifications of this disease," she told the Leader.
"Even if you think you understand what it's like to be going through something like this, you don't. Now I've been through it, it's a whole different world, and I want to make sure no other men and women go through this."
The NBCF's recently-released Towards 2030 Report Card showed the significant pressure COVID-19 has placed on funding, with 90 per cent of Australia's top breast cancer researchers anticipating their research program will take over 12 months to recover from the pandemic.
NBCF requires an investment of at least $100 million over the next nine years to achieve its goal of Zero Deaths from breast cancer by 2030 and, with the NBCF being an entirely community-funded organisation, you can help achieve this goal.
"With COVID and all the funding going into COVID - which it should - there is an impact on studies into breast cancer, the loss of time, and input and bright minds," Ms Monaghan said.
"I will be on some form of treatment for the rest of my life, and I want to make sure it's a long life.
"The slower research goes, it will be a longer time before treatment comes out. I really want to be given the opportunity for it to change my life."