Kate joined our Foundation team in June 2018 to support the executive team and manage special projects and the role has been a perfect fit. “I am able to use my 20 years of corporate PA and communications experience and interest in engaging communities to give back to the doctors and nurses here who have saved my life”.
Kate became a regular patient at the Prince of Wales Hospital and Randwick precinct in 2011 when a second breast cancer diagnosis led to a double mastectomy and ongoing reconstructive surgeries. She chose to put her faith in now Head of Plastic Surgery, Dr Sean Nicklin, for her reconstruction because of his caring, honest and innovative approach and she has never regretted that decision. “Dr Nicklin and his fantastic team have provided me with the greatest care over the last 8 years and I always feel safe in their hands”. Kate experienced wound healing complications after her surgery so Dr Nicklin referred her straight to the Hyperbaric team for oxygen therapy – a treatment new for breast cancer patients at that time. “The team were amazing and the difference it made in such a short time was incredible – I spent over 3 months and 70 hours in both the old and new Hyperbaric chambers and was so thankful I lived close by”.
Kate found herself back at Prince of Wales in 2017 with a third cancer diagnosis – a rare lymphoma. She was devastated ‘how unlucky could one person be?’ On the flip side she had Dr Nicklin delivering the news and she says his delivery was perfect. She had already been assigned to the care of Prof Mark Hertzberg (Haematology), Prof Michael Jackson (Radiation Oncology) and Dr Kathy Tucker (Genetics) and went on to be treated in the newly opened Nelune Comprehensive Cancer Centre. Kate can’t recommend the facility enough. “Not having to travel all over the city for my treatment & specialist visits was incredible. The environment has been so well thought out and centred on the patient experience. Mine was incredibly positive and helped me to cope through such a devasting time. I always felt included in my treatment planning and as my husband travelled extensively it was important that my family knew I was in safe hands. Kate now participates in various research studies run by Prince of Wales and also nationally in the hope that her challenges will help others. She also supports other young women with breast cancer and their families.
Working for the Foundation and walking the corridors of the Prince of Wales Hospital daily has turned out to be a healing experience for Kate, especially knowing there is so much incredible research and patient care happening here. “I want everyone to have access to the amazing level of care and services that I had. They healed me and now I’m living my life again and able to give back”.