Couple with two young children diagnosed with cancer on the same day
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Featured Image Credit: GoFundMe
A couple who share two young children were both given a cancer diagnosis on the same day.
Kirsty and Steve Lee from Adelaide, Australia, got the devastating news on Tuesday, 22 November and they are now preparing to undergo 12 months of chemotherapy.
After finding a lump on her breast, Kirsty had a mammogram, while Steve’s recent colonoscopy returned abnormal results.
Kirsty’s GP informed her that she had stage three breast cancer while Steve was later told at a hospital that he had rectal cancer.
The couple’s cancer treatment – which will include chemotherapy, radiation and surgery - begins in December all while caring for their four-year-old son and five-year-old daughter.
A family friend, Sonya Kohlhagen, has set up a GoFundMe page to help the couple cover medical expenses.
“This will be tough,” Sonya’s GoFundMe description reads. “It’s tough for everyone going through it. They have limited leave entitlements from their employers. They’ll probably need to move out of their house. But to see them go through it at the same time, and with kids at that age, that’s what really breaks my heart.”
The couple, who are both in their early 40s and only recently got married in 2020, were not unwell before the shock diagnosis Sonya told 9news.
“They are still processing it,” she said.
Sonya is hoping that the fundraiser will help pay for Kirsty and Steve’s rent, bills, treatment and childcare.
She added: “They're just really unassuming and humble.
"Just really happy with the simple things in life."
"Their life really is family. "
Rectal cancer is a rare form of bowel cancer. Depending on where the cancer starts, bowel cancer is sometimes called colon or rectal cancer.
Bowel cancer is one of the most common types of cancer diagnosed in the UK and Australia. In 2020, bowel cancer was the second highest cause of cancer death in Australia.
Most people diagnosed are over the age of 60 and it develops from polyps which are growths in the bowel that may turn into cancer over time.
Blood in your poo, abdominal pain, weight loss and frequent urination could be signs of bowel cancer and you should see your GP if these symptoms persist.
Breast cancer happens when cells in the breast begins to grow abnormally. It is the most common type of cancer in the UK and the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The NHS states that one in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime but there’s a good chance of recovery if detected at an early stages.
Symptoms can include the following:
- A change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- Discharge from either of your nipples, which may be streaked with blood
- A lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- Dimpling on the skin of your breasts
- A rash on or around your nipple
- A change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
You should visit your GP if you have any of these symptoms.
Kirsty and Steve's GoFundMe page can be found here.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, 8am–8pm seven days a week.