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Love of Light Horse
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Belle Hannan, Gary Smith, Carol Robie, Julie Smith and Cedric Smith at last year's Relay for Life.
Cancer hits home PAKENHAM mother Julie Smith is no stranger to the heartbreak induced by the life-changing effects of cancer. However, despite her tragic experiences with the disease, the mother-offour will continue to be a shining light at this year’s Cardinia Relay for Life, leading the way for her relay team,
Best Foot Forward. “I’ve got a pretty painful story,” admitted 48-year-old Julie. “I’ve lost probably about 20 people that I’ve known in my life (to cancer)…but what I’ve been through, it’s made me a stronger person.” An integration teacher at Berwick’s Kambrya College, Julie is currently preparing to take part in her 10th relay
for life, captaining her team of relatives and friends. However, while the mother-of-four looks forward to the Relay for Life each year, it’s an emotional reminder of all she has lost to a disease that has continuously changed her life. “Back in 1991, we lost my mum,” explained Julie. “She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 46…
she had a mastectomy and spent 10 years in and out of hospital…she died at 56.” “We only knew Mum as a really tired and sick person for that stage of her life,” said Julie, who admitted cancer took a toll on her mother. “(When she had the mastectomy) she kept crying about it…she felt like it had taken half her womanhood away. We kept on
telling her, it’s just a boob, it’s just a boob. Even my dad would say I don’t care, you can take them both if it means you live longer.” While Julie’s mother, Joy, eventually beat breast cancer, it would prove to only be the beginning of her troubles, a hospital accident uncovering yet another sickness. Continued page 8
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