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Paige's Cancer Journey: Finding Support Through Under Our Roof

Mastitis or breast cancer? Paige knew.

Grey and white photo of paige with no hair

Paige’s country life in Tumby Bay took an unexpected turn when at the age of 29, she received a life-altering cancer diagnosis.

When loving Mother Paige was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29, living in regional South Australia became another emotional and financial challenge in order to access her cancer treatment.Woman breastfeeding baby

When Paige first told her doctors her symptoms of itchiness, dimpling of the skin, and feeling engorged – they put it down to mastitis as she was breastfeeding. She kept an eye on her symptoms and quickly noticed when self-examining, a small, rock-hard lump.

“And the moment I touched it, I felt sick. I knew that it wasn’t normal.”

An ultrasound revealed a two-centimetre mass in her breast and Paige was diagnosed with stage three grade three, triple-negative breast cancer. Less than six weeks later, it was 8.5 centimetres and had also reached into her lymph nodes.

Paige was recommended to start six months of chemotherapy in Adelaide. Living a seven-hour drive away in Tumby Bay placed an overwhelming financial and emotional burden to Paige and her young family.

Paige would drive the long seven hours to Adelaide, for three hours of chemotherapy and back home. After finishing chemotherapy, Paige underwent a double mastectomy and lymph node clearance and was then deemed cancer-free.

Paige and her family stayed at one of the Under Our Roof homes while she underwent surgery.

“It was a godsend for us.”

“The stress that we had having to try and find something that was comfortable for not only me but for children”

“They didn’t understand what was going on. They didn’t understand why we were having to pack up our life and move away from home for weeks on end,”

“It’s scary enough for them to see their mum unwell, let alone being in a strange place or a small little hotel room.”

“It would be amazing to have more available for other people so that we’re all not left having to find our own accommodation or in places that aren’t anywhere near as comfortable as your home. It’s an absolute godsend for having something like this available, especially for us country folks. It’s hard enough as it is. So to have something like this available is incredible.”

The Under Our Roof accommodation has four family style homes available for country patients to stay in while they are receiving treatment, located in Woodville West and Bowden.

You can help support Under Our Roof for as little as $10 per month – it can truly make a difference in people’s lives. It’s more than a contribution; it’s a lifeline for families like Paige’s. Together, we can ensure that Under Our Roof continues to provide the warmth of a home away from home.

For country cancer patients, the cost is $40 per night. If you are eligible for PATS (Patient Assistance Transport Scheme or state equivalent) and have a healthcare or pension card, this cost is fully covered for stays over 3 nights.

If you’re a patient or family member interested in Under Our Roof, contact our friendly team at (08) 8244 1100 or email us at [email protected]