At a time when she should have been celebrating her new pregnancy, Peta-Jane Secrett was grappling with a breast cancer diagnosis.
The news came as a bolt from the blue.
Aged just 36 at the time, Peta-Jane had been listening to a Podcast about another young woman’s shock breast cancer diagnosis and her battle with the disease. It prompted her to do a self-examination that night - and she found a lump.
“I found out I was pregnant on the Friday and the following Thursday I was diagnosed with breast cancer… it was a very difficult time,” Peta-Jane recalls.
Thankfully, her doctors were able to reassure her that they could effectively treat her cancer during the pregnancy, although her treatment plan was unconventional for her particular diagnosis. Her healthy son, Oliver, turns two in March.
Peta-Jane is passionate about the cause behind the Hawaiian Walk for Women’s Cancer and last year was the biggest fundraiser for the event, raising $26,000.
Participants in the Hawaiian Walk for Women’s Cancer must each raise a minimum of $1,000 and these fundraising dollars will go to medical research programs at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.
This year, Peta-Jane will represent Hawaiian’s Mezz community as she laces up to take part in the 35km event, walking with close friend Genevieve French. Husband Ben and sons Oliver and Harry, 5, will be encouraging them along.
“I feel very passionate about advancements in medical research because of the real impact they can have on people who find themselves in dire situations,” Peta-Jane says.
“You can look at medical research in the abstract. But when you find yourself in a situation like I did, it become personal. Being able to make choices that are backed-up by science is very important to me.
“Medical research has the ability to make a huge difference to a life.”
Asked why she will walk in the event, Peta-Jane is clear: “I am walking to give back to a community that gave me a lot, and also to raise the importance of self-examination.”
“Prior to my diagnosis, I hadn’t consistently done breast checks and I hate to think what could have happened had I not listened to that Podcast and been prompted to do a self-examination.”
To register for the Walk or to donate, please visit: