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Tuesday, 26 March 2019 07:57 am

Bald Wainui rugby heads for local woman with breast cancer


tylerbeforeTYLER Tane and the rest of his hairless Wainuiomata rugby team will be enduring cold games of rugby as their hair starts growing back.

Most of the premier squad participated in a head shave on Wednesday last week in honour of local woman Sarah Jones*, who has breast cancer.

The night started off with a buffet dinner, followed by the head shaves carried out by barbers from Boys2Men and Carve shops.

Some of the team were emotional about losing their beloved locks.

For 20 year old Winger, Mr Tane, shaving his head for this worthy cause was a no-brainer as his family has also been touched by breast cancer.

“My grandmother was affected by breast cancer and it feels good to lend our support to the family, not only as a team, but as a family orientated club as well,” he says.

Mrs Jones was grateful for the support which raised over $3,500.

“I don’t even know who organised it, maybe my brother in law, I’m just really grateful they want to do it,” she says.

tylerafterWhen the lump appeared it changed Sarah’s world

FOR 35 YEAR old Sarah Jones* joining the gym at the start of the year and losing six kilograms was great, until a lump appeared and changed everything.

Mrs Jones of Wainuiomata was diagnosed with breast cancer in April this year after having a mammogram, ultrasound and finally a biopsy.

“Because of my age, mammograms aren’t that accurate, it wasn’t until I went to the hospital for a biopsy that the surgeon confirmed ‘yep, it’s breast cancer’,” Mrs Jones says.

The cancer is stage three, semi-serious, and with breast cancer in her family, Mrs Jones was told she wouldn’t need to start testing until her early 40’s.

Mrs Jones’ mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 46, and has spent the last seven years in remission.

After having a mastectomy of her right breast on June 6, Mrs Jones is now having a gene test to see if she carries the BRCA gene.

“If I do carry it, I have a 50% chance of passing it on to my three year old daughter, and a 60-80% chance of the cancer coming into my left breast and also developing ovarian cancer.”

If the BRCA gene test is positive, Mrs Jones will get her daughter tested as soon as she is a young adult, if that is positive she will have the option of having a pre-elected double mastectomy to reduce her risk.

Because of their situation, Mrs Jones and her partner have taken up the offer of IVF treatment to have eggs frozen as there is a chance they will not conceive naturally after she finishes chemotherapy.

“We definitely want one more. We’d been trying for a year until I found out about the cancer. Medically, maybe my body was saying ‘nah, you need to focus on this’.”

Out of the five eggs taken from her, three had not survived in the space of two days.

“I’d be stoked if at least one made it, we got IVF free because of my situation, and then at least we could say that we gave it a go,” she says.

Mrs Jones has been showered with support from family and friends, she says she always has people around her which means she has no chance to be sad.

“All the support makes me feel like everything is going to be okay. I’ve just got to get on and go with it, I can’t dwell and be sad.”

After this diagnosis, Mrs Jones says she hopes it will help her friends and family be more vigilant with getting themselves checked.

“I read an article about how one in nine women get breast cancer, and if I’m that one in nine for my friends and family then I’ll take it.

“I don’t want anyone to have to go through what we’re about to go through, it’s going to get tougher with chemo starting on Thursday.”

The chemotherapy is six treatments over 18 weeks, one treatment every three weeks.

To help the family out while Mrs Jones is going through chemotherapy, her mother is moving down from Rotorua to cook, clean and look after her.

Mrs Jones says she already feels different.

“I feel much stronger, and I see things differently. Of course I appreciate things, but probably a lot more than I did before.”

 *name has been changed to protect the identity


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