This year alone it is estimated that 18,235 people, including 148 men, will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

That’s why I participated in Breast Cancer Network Australia’s (BCNA) Field of Women event in Melbourne on Sunday.

It was my love of the AFL that first inspired me to participate in BCNA’s Field of Women events, but in 2010 that changed.

The awareness we created on the MCG in 2010 helped my Aunty with a very early diagnosis of her breast cancer.

Last Sunday, eight years after her diagnosis, surgery, and recovery, we walked onto the MCG holding hands to share a story that we know saves lives.

We shared that early detection is important and that people affected by breast cancer do not need to be alone.

After some media interviews we joined a record number of people on the MCG in the shape of BCNA’s Pink Lady; a powerful symbol that stands for strength, understanding, compassion, and resilience.

It was an emotional experience. We were standing with breast cancer survivors, with people affected right now, and sadly with families honouring loved ones.

One family held a sign: 1 mother, 3 daughters, 4 survivors. Young children held up photos of their mothers who they had tragically lost.

We walked off the MCG, dried our eyes, and headed to the stands to cheer on the Swans.

It’s not lost on me that it was this great game that helped me connect with BCNA. A connection that helped my Aunty with an early diagnosis and the support that made a difficult time that little bit easier.

To families affected by breast cancer – we are stronger together. We didn’t stand next to you on the MCG, we stood with you.

Related story: We’re worth it: ‘Getting my first mammogram as a queer woman’

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