Receiving her own breast cancer diagnoses just last May and undergoing an aggressive treatment plan, Mummy’s Wish mum, Jodie Halliwell, raised a staggering $3,181.80 this Dry July to help families like her own.

Jodie’s generous spirit is infectious and her positive outlook truly inspiring. Participating in Dry July was one way Jodie felt she could use her experience to build awareness, share her learnings and help to give others hope.

The Gold Coast mum and childcare educator was 37 years old when she checked her breasts and found a lump. After reassuring her it was probably just a cyst, her GP called her the next day for a biopsy and she was told she had stage one breast cancer just days later. Her children were four and six at the time.

She struggled through initial thoughts of the future and her children and admits that over those first few months there was a lot of crying.

On commencing treatment, a grade three tumour was also detected, changing Jodie’s treatment plan to include surgery, eight rounds of chemo and 30 hits of radiation. Cancer is what Jodie calls a “game changer.”

“Before my diagnoses I was living the daily stress of being a parent, juggling work and losing my own mum to illness. Getting cancer allowed me to look inwards and better appreciate myself – spiritually, mentally and physically. I’ve made changes I never would have considered previously, like having a day off without my children and seeing a psychologist,” said Jodie.

“Of course there are times I feel angry and think why is this happening to me but I’m at a point of acceptance. The experience has transformed me into a different person and I’m proud of the new person I’ve become.”

A well-known local, Jodie rallied the families from her school, her community, and friends all over the country through social media to support her Dry July efforts.

“I think having an illness is still a bit taboo and something people may feel they want to hide. I found my cancer because I checked and I shared my experience so publicly because I want others to be aware too.”

“When I was going through treatment I think a lot of people around me felt helpless. Dry July was a great way for people to feel they could show their support for me. I feel a lot of gratitude in doing Dry July.”

Jodie connected with Mummy’s Wish just before starting chemo. She was provided counselling, contributions towards travel expenses, and a care package for her kids.

“I love the ethos behind Mummy’s Wish. It was really practical help at a really terrible time. The book was a helpful tool to explain what was going on to the kids and the voice-recordable comfort bears were great over that period.”