Dry July holds an important message for 41-year-old Melbourne mum, Belinda. In 2021, in the midst of Victoria’s ongoing lockdown, she noticed a change to her breast which she initially dismissed as an ill-fitting bra.

Belinda soon realised something was up and after first seeing her GP, she was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer the following week. Further testing identified bilateral breast cancer and that she carries two breast cancer genetic mutations –BRCA2 and CHEK2.

Belinda started chemo within a couple of weeks and with strict COVID restrictions in place, she faced much of her treatment on her own. Among the overwhelming amount of information provided to her, Mummy’s Wish was mentioned during her first chemo appointment.

“That initial connection to my support coordinator and having someone to reach out to early in my treatment was so valuable. Kelly later provided me with resources to help prepare for my surgery that I found incredible supportive,” said Belinda.

“The connection with the Mummy’s Wish Facebook Group has been really valuable, too. It’s a fantastic community of women who are happy to share advice or suggestions to any question. There’s a solidarity where you can vent or have a laugh and feel listened to.”

“Some of the practical support like cleaning was tricky with lockdown but the food deliveries took the pressure off and meant that with everything going on, I ate real food, which was important for my recovery.”

“My daughter absolutely loves her comfort bear. We have a Give Jar at home and she’s started saving her pocket money for Mummy’s Wish so other kids can have a bear, too.”

In what Belinda describes as a rollercoaster ride, over the past year she has undergone chemo, radiation and a double mastectomy with reconstruction surgery just seven weeks ago.

At a time when her diagnosis and treatment could feel overwhelming , Belinda identified two things that she can do to have agency over her life as she looks ahead to the future.

“I discovered research that I can reduce my risk of my cancer reoccurring by as much as 50% by exercising regularly and cutting down on alcohol. This is something that is in my control and that I can do to make an impact on my future health. So I’m kick starting this by doing Dry July.”

Support Belinda and other Mummy’s Wish mums by donating to Dry July 2022.