“It was 1984 and like all 24-year-olds, I thought I was bullet proof. That changed the day I was told I had cancer.”
After being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at just 24, Michelle Bowen’s life changed.
While most of her peers were getting married and starting their lives, Michelle found herself travelling to and from hospital, dealing with chemotherapy and losing her hair.
“I was given just a 15% chance of survival. But I beat the odds,” she said.
Then in 2016, Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I really needed to talk with someone, so the Cancer Council NSW’s Cancer Connect program was exceptional. They matched me up with another woman and it was great to talk to someone who had ‘been there’.”
Michelle is now retired and spends her time travelling Australia with her husband John, capturing these precious moments through photography. She is grateful for every second she gets to spend with him after cancer threatened to take her life not just once, but twice.
Both Michelle and John imagine a future where everybody who is diagnosed with cancer can continue to enjoy their adventures in life.
“We are both very appreciative of all the Cancer Council has done for our family which is why we will continue to support in any way we can,” she says.
Include a Charity Week
This week marks Include a Charity Week, a week every year when charities come together to spread a very important message.
That message is that leaving a gift in your will to a charity is a powerful way to make an impact on the world, ensure your wishes are respected and know that your loved ones are cared for.
For Cancer Council NSW, gifts in wills of all sizes are essential. They mean we can plan and continue world-class research, prevention, advocacy and support services.
Even 1% of your estate can make a huge difference in saving and changing lives.
“Leaving a gift to Cancer Council NSW allows the valuable programs and work that they provide to continue,” Michelle says.
“When I was first diagnosed there was very little around for young adults with cancer. Fortunately, through many kind donations, this has changed. To anyone thinking about leaving a gift in their will, you will never really understand how much it means to someone like me.
With a gift in your will to Cancer Council NSW’s research and support, you can help more people to imagine a brighter future for all diagnosed. Please talk to our friendly Gifts in Wills Team with any questions about how to make these visions a reality on 02 9334 1444.