RAAF Base Williamtown dug deep to support breast cancer awareness on October 26.
CAPTION: Flight Sergeant Gail Blizzard, Flying Officer Liz Ferrie and Wing Commander Sue Yates during the fundraiser at RAAF Base Williamtown. Photo by Corporal Craig Barrett.
On average, one in seven women and one in 700 men, will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
RAAF Base Williamtown’s efforts to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation and educate men and women of the risks, identification, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer was an opportunity not to be overlooked, especially with a number of cancer survivors serving at the base.
Repurposing the COVID-19 drive-through clinic on base, volunteers collected donations in a socially distanced, COVID-safe manner.
Organisers Flight Sergeant Gail Blizzard – a breast cancer survivor – and Wing Commander Sue Yates, Women’s Integrated Networking Group (WINGs) Williamtown Coordinator, have previously united efforts for breast cancer fundraising events on base.
“We were determined that COVID-19 restrictions would not stop fundraising and breast cancer awareness efforts for a second year particularly given the statistics,” Wing Commander Yates said.
Flight Sergeant Blizzard said “an unexpected diagnosis of breast cancer, without showing any symptoms” was an important story to share to raise awareness of early diagnosis and treatment.
Fundraising, however, was not the only goal of the day, with WINGs hosting a base-wide education session on the importance of breast health awareness.
Flight Sergeant Blizzard said the education session included Air Force women talking about their own breast cancer experience as well as a Williamtown Women’s Health Clinic nurse providing a presentation on the how and when to undertake self-examination and the support and clinical care provided through medical.
“My unexpected diagnosis of breast cancer, without showing any symptoms, was an important story to share to raise awareness of early diagnosis and treatment,” Flight Sergeant Blizzard said.
“Our events are important in raising funds for research and a cure for breast cancer.
“Being able to share my story at WINGs, along with Air Force friends who have also survived breast cancer, will hopefully encourage women to consider booking a mammogram from the age of 40 rather than thinking breast cancer is only present with obvious symptoms.”
About $2100 was raised for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.