Tara was only 34 years when she passed away in early 2019. She was a close friend of Rebecca’s. They first met at university when they were studying to become researchers. Back then, Tara was happy, healthy and focussed on her Master’s in public health statistics–an area she was passionate about.
In 2017, Tara told Rebecca she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Tara was just 33 years old. When Rebecca heard the word cancer, she thought the worst but that didn’t make her think her friend wouldn’t beat the odds. Her heart breaks that she didn’t.
Triple negative breast cancer is a rare, more aggressive form of the disease that can often present in young women. And right now, it has no targeted therapy.
A few months after her passing, Rebecca learned that Mater Chicks in Pink raised money to provide practical support to women with breast cancer—as well as investing in research to understand how breast cancers metastasise.
As a mental health researcher herself, Rebecca knows how important research is and that research is expensive. And she knows it takes time. Knowing that money raised from the RACQ International Women’s Day Fun Run goes towards research for cancer like Tara’s was the biggest driver to get on board and take part.
Cancer took so many moments from Tara. But Rebecca walks to remember the moments they had together. Her first event in 2019 was an incredibly emotional day; both a celebration of Tara’s life and a bonding experience for the people that loved her. But it also gave everyone the chance to raise awareness and fundraise for breast cancer research.
Rebecca believes that if we really want to kick cancer's butt, we need more research to better understand how cancer works at a biological and molecular level. Her hope is that it will bring us one step closer to better treatments and potentially one day, a vaccine.
Even in the final stages of her disease, Tara wanted to help make a difference. And while we can’t save Tara now, Rebecca can walk for her.