When genetic testing revealed Amanda had a faulty MLH1 gene—Lynch Syndrome—the new mum was relieved to at least know why she’d developed bowel cancer at such a young age.
After suffering intense abdominal pain throughout her second pregnancy, Amanda’s family history played heavily on her mind.
“I knew something was wrong—I’d never experienced pain like that in my first pregnancy. But after April was born the pain became almost unbearable,” she said.
An ultrasound confirmed her worst fears. With a six centimetre tumour almost completely blocking her bowel, Amanda was referred to Mater, where she discovered her cancer had spread to her lymph nodes.
Her first daughter Lilly wasn’t quite two years old, and her new baby April was just 12 weeks old.
“I looked at this little baby in my arms… and the next minute I was being wheeled in for urgent surgery to remove half my bowel. I also had to have liver surgery, and then it was straight into chemotherapy,” Amanda said.
Once Amanda is well enough, she and husband Ben will have to face the agonising decision between having the third baby they’d always dreamed of or taking the safe road with a full hysterectomy as soon as possible.
“It would also put me into early menopause which carries other significant health ramifications, particularly around my heart, as well as an increased osteoporosis risk.
“The research in this space is remarkable and it just keeps getting better. I think I’m lucky to at least know what I’m predisposed to, and that’s because of research. Knowledge is power, and I can now do everything in my power to be around to see my babies grow up.”
When you purchase your Mater Cars for Cancer ticket, you are joining the global effort to change the future of cancer diagnoses, treatment and care, while supporting those in your community receiving treatment at Mater, just like Amanda.