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MGallery Talk: Powerful Breast Cancer Stories

Two women share their powerful stories for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
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We all know that breast cancer impacts woman all over the world–and if you haven’t experienced it yourself, it’s likely that someone you love has, because one in eight women are diagnosed in their lifetime in Australia. It’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer amongst women in the country, with approximately 57 Australians being diagnosed with breast cancer every single day (which equates to over 20,000 women each year). These statistics are shocking, and the reason we need to continue to have loud conversations.

marie claire editor Georgie Abay
marie claire editor Georgie Abay hosted a special breakfast event at Hotel Chadstone Melbourne – MGallery Collection.

To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, MGallery and marie claire hosted a special breakfast event at Hotel Chadstone Melbourne – MGallery Collection. The MGallery Hotel Collection is a feminine brand founded in 2008, which strives to celebrate the strength and determination of women.  Their core belief? Give back as much as you receive. Since 2018, the brand has been supporting breast cancer through the Pink Ribbon Foundation in France. This year, MGallery Collection expanded its efforts globally, and is now not only raising donations, but also using its hotels to promote breast cancer prevention, launching podcasts on prevention (listen below) and self-examination (QR codes feature on bathroom mirrors), as well as a limited edition MGallery X Pour Les Femmes pyjama collection, with profits going towards breast cancer awareness.

We called on two remarkable women to share their wisdom with us. The first, health activist, author of The Lucky One, and founder of Humanise Health, Krystal Barter, who in her mid-20s after discovering she carried a gene fault called BRCA 1, elected to have a preventative double mastectomy in order to reduce her chance of a cancer diagnosis. Cancer is in her genes. Her great-grandmother died of the disease when she was 69. Her grandmother was 44 when she was diagnosed and fought cancer for 30 years. Her mother Julie was just 36 years old when she was diagnosed, and has since had over 30 surgeries. Just like the generations that have come before her, Krystal is a fighter. With the knowledge that she had an 80 per cent chance of developing breast cancer, Krystal had both her breasts preventatively removed at the age of 25, and would later have her fallopian tubes and ovary removed. “It became a fight for my life, even though I wasn’t sick,” she says. Women all over the world have celebrated her strength, including Angelina Jolie, who shares the same gene mutation, and invited Krystal to meet her in Sydney at a movie premiere. “I feel lucky to have known my cancer risk because it gave me a choice. So many people don’t have choice,” she says.

Krystal Barter (far right) and Claire Fabb (centre) share their powerful breast cancer survival stories with marie Claire editor, Georgie Abay.
Krystal Barter (far right) and Claire Fabb (centre) share their powerful breast cancer survival stories with marie claire editor, Georgie Abay.

We also invited Claire Fabb to be part of the conversation. Claire is a stylist, digital editor, and the founder of style destination Style by Yellow Button. She’s also a breast cancer survivor and was diagnosed with breast cancer after a friend asked if she’d checked her breasts recently. She went home that night and did a self-examination. She found a lump and within days, was diagnosed with breast cancer. “You just don’t think it’s going to happen to you,” she says. It changed her life. Claire underwent surgery to remove the tumour and also chemotherapy. She not only survived, she thrived. “My friends were literally my rocks and my support team,” she says. Through our thought-provoking conversation, both women inspired others to do the same.

Let’s talk…

Tune in to the MGallery x marie claire breast cancer prevention podcast.

Treat this as a reminder to check your breasts

Symptoms can include:

  • A new lump in your breast or underarm (armpit).
  • Thickening or swelling of part of your breast.
  • Irritation or dimpling of your breast skin.
  • Redness or flaky skin in your nipple area or your breast.
  • Pulling in of your nipple or pain in your nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk.
  • Any change in the size or shape of your breast.
  • Pain in any area of your breast.

In partnership with MGallery Hotel Collection.

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