Cancer a 'bolt from the blue'

Breast cancer sufferer Delwyn Crawford (left) is supported by friend Nicola Donaldson whose daughter Sarah (7) looks on. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
Breast cancer sufferer Delwyn Crawford (left) is supported by friend Nicola Donaldson whose daughter Sarah (7) looks on. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

Delwyn Crawford counts herself lucky her cancer was detected, as she could have ignored a ''flat patch'' of skin under one breast.

Next Sunday, she will join 150 wellwishers at a pink ribbon breakfast at Luna, Dunedin, which will raise money for breast cancer research.

Ms Crawford (42), of Dunedin, said the unusual mark resembled a ''stretch-mark''.

After searching the internet, she decided it might be harmful. A subsequent mammogram showed nothing, but an ultrasound identified a 1.2cm lump. She had a lymph node removal procedure last September, followed by chemotherapy.

On Monday, she starts six weeks of radiotherapy to ensure the cancer has not spread.

The mother of two had no family history of breast cancer, and the illness was a ''bolt from the blue''. She thanked her family, and workplace Signal Management Group, where she is office manager, for their ''fantastic'' support through her illness.

Breakfast organiser Nicola Donaldson said hearing the bad news about her close friend of more than 15 years ''broke a little piece of my heart''. Mrs Donaldson said her friend's strength and positivity was inspirational. Initially, she aimed to host up to 30 people. But the event gained momentum, and about 150 tickets have sold. She has been overwhelmed by the support in the community.

The breakfast was supported by Luna, and child-care provider Wild Things. Other businesses had given goods and services for a charity auction.

The pair hope to raise $5000 for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.

A University of Otago breast cancer researcher would speak at the breakfast.

May is Pink Ribbon Breakfast month, during which fundraising events are held around the country to fund research.

- eileen.goodwin@odt.co.nz

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