Pink Ribbon ambassador, Michelle, with her dad on Father's Day in 2017, two years after his first cancer diagnosis.
When Michelle hosted her first Pink Ribbon morning tea in 2008 her main reason was to throw a pink party. As the mother of two boys, parties were always dinosaurs, trucks and all things blue.
Like most of us, Michelle also had family members impacted by cancer, so raising funds for Cancer Council was a strong motivator.
"My maternal Grandmother died of breast cancer before I was born, so while I never got to meet her, I had a realisation of how destructive cancer can be to a family and I wanted to help," Michelle explained.
"I had a small gathering of my favourite women in my home and we celebrated being girly while raising money for women's cancers."
Since then, the impact of cancer has become even more familiar.
"In 2015, my father was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and I watched him go through awful treatments of chemotherapy which made the "C" word a reality in my life."
Her father's diagnosis spurred Michelle into doing more and she ran the HBF Run for a Reason in his honour, raising almost $1500 for Cancer Council.
Then, in 2017 her mother-in-law (pictured left with her dog, Jack) was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and had to undergo surgery and rigorous chemotherapy.
"My mother-in-law lived with us as a dependant so the appointments and aftercare became our responsibility. To see someone you love go through something so horrible, it can't help but inspire you to try to make it stop."
Determined to put an end to women's cancers, Michelle hosted her second Pink Ribbon morning tea and this time she well exceeded her $1000 target. But Michelle's motivation did not stop there.
"In 2018, my family received news that my father was again diagnosed with bowel cancer, the cancer that took his mother's life."
On top of her own family's struggles, Michelle learned that her colleague had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
"This news threw me as she is younger than me and has two young boys. I decided I had to fight back, I was not going to stand by and let cancer destroy another family."
Michelle rallied her colleagues and they held a Pink Ribbon event, raising over $2000.
Michelle's courage and continued drive to raise funds and help create a future free from cancer is truly inspiring. But for Michelle, it's simple.
"I get told ‘not everyone can do what you do' but I don't believe that's true. I believe everyone has the ability to achieve great things; you just have to have a big enough reason to do it."
"For me, my Dad is my number one reason, followed by all the other mums and dads in the world who are living with cancer."
Michelle's Pink Ribbon morning tea at her workplace last year. She rallied the team together to raise funds for Cancer Council and support their colleague who had been diagnosed with cancer.
Pink Ribbon month
October is Pink Ribbon month where we encourage people to raise funds for breast and gynaecological cancers.
Every day in Australia, around 65 women are told they have breast or a gynaecological cancer. But with your help we can change this.
Register to host a Pink Ribbon fundraiser today and join Michelle and hundreds of others as we go pink for a cancer free future.