Daffodil Day has always been a special day to remember the loved ones we've lost to cancer, and to honour the people in our lives facing it today.
Sadly, this year has been challenging, and the day itself will look very different. To ensure the safety of our volunteers and the community, we won't be collecting donations in a street appeal like past years. But it's never been more important that we continue to raise funds for life-saving cancer research this Daffodil Day for people like Bianca.
At just 20 years of age, Bianca, the youngest of all her siblings, was studying journalism at university. That was until she discovered a small lump in her right breast. At first, she thought it was nothing, but over the next two months her lump had tripled in size.
She was sent for a biopsy and when the result came through two days later, she was devastated. Bianca was told, "You have breast cancer. It's aggressive and it's spreading really fast, and you need to start chemotherapy immediately."
The diagnosis took Bianca, her family and friends completely by surprise.
"I was just devastated. Everyone was devastated - there's no other word for it. My life as I had known it was turned completely upside down," she says.
Her situation was so rare that doctors had to tailor her treatment plan and were unsure how she would react to the chemotherapy and radiation treatment she required.
"I spent my birthday ‘week' in hospital being the sickest I've ever felt and watching the sadness in the eyes of my friends and family as they had the same plan that I did for my birthday this year was absolutely devastating," she says.
Over the years, cancer research has delivered incredible breakthroughs for breast cancer treatment. But for the most aggressive breast cancer types like Bianca's traditional therapies have struggled.
Associate Professor Jeff Holst, one of the Australians researchers at the forefront of cancer research, says, "There are different subsets of breast cancers, and unfortunately not every treatment is effective for every type. A breakthrough in one area isn't a breakthrough in others. For some forms, such as triple negative breast cancer, we don't have a targeted therapy at all. So we rely on chemotherapy, surgery, and radiotherapy, and these do not always remove the cancer and can lead to some adverse side effects for the patients."
A/Prof Holst and his team are currently looking at ways to destroy cancer cells, so even the most aggressive cancers, like triple negative breast cancer, can be stopped.
Bianca is alive today, thanks to the funds raised for life-saving cancer research. But, to keep delivering better treatments - and to keep saving more lives - cancer research urgently needs your support this Daffodil Day Appeal.