Inspiring survivor tackles International Women's Day walk

Published 8:48am 23 February 2021

Inspiring survivor tackles International Women's Day walk
Words by Jodie Powell

Kippa-Ring breast cancer survivor Marissa Taylor owes a debt of gratitude to breast cancer charity Chicks in Pink – and it’s one she will repay by taking part in the International Women’s Day Fun Run.

Marissa is a Chicks in Pink International Women’s Day Fun Run ambassador and has secured the Number 1 race bib.

She will do the 5km walk with family and friends and aims to raise more than $3000 to help Chicks In Pink continue to provide services and support to women undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 38, Marissa thought breast cancer was something older women got.

Life-saving discovery

She’s forever grateful for a playful wrestling match with her daughter, Ruby, in July 2018.

“Ruby bumped me in the breast – she was six – we were wrestling on the ground,” Marissa explains.

“I wasn’t inspecting my breasts because I was only 38.”

Referred to surgeon Ben Lancashire at the Mater Hospital by a friend, Marissa and husband Anthony were shocked to learn that without intervention, she would have died from breast cancer by Christmas.

Instead, she was fitted with a portable catheter in the week of her 39th birthday – which she marked by shaving off her waist-length hair.

Inspiring survivor tackles International Women's Day walk

Spreading the word

Determined no-one she knew would face the same fate, Marissa confronted her disease head-on and is a fierce advocate of breast checks, telling everyone she encounters to make them part of their routine.

“I announced on Facebook that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and created a hashtag - #awarenessiskey,” she says.

The mother of two’s public album on Facebook chronicles her journey – from the day she wore a bright pink tutu into battle for her first round of war against breast cancer when she started chemotherapy, through to fundraisers for Chicks In Pink.

Chicks in Pink to the rescue

She is grateful for the charity’s support – especially after they supplied her with a special bra after her mastectomy went wrong.

“I went in for a double mastectomy and woke up with a tube down my throat and one breast still on because I had an anaphylactic reaction – I was horrified because I had thrown out all my bras,” Marissa says.

“I spent 16 weeks lopsided (until her allergy to the ketamine in the anaesthetic was identified and the second surgery complete).”


Inspiring survivor tackles International Women's Day walk

How you can help

Marissa is urging people to donate to her Fun Run fundraiser.

“Just $25 will pay for parking when someone has to visit hospital for treatment or a check-up – it’s those things that add up,” she says.

To donate click here.

Find more local news here.

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