Exercise played a major role in transforming a retired athletic champion in the years after a breast cancer diagnosis.
Three-time Olympic silver medallist Raelene Boyle represented Australia as a sprinter and was on the Border yesterday to inspire women to live life well after a diagnosis.
Boyle was diagnosed 17 years ago and these days devotes much of her time to Breast Cancer Network Australia.
“Exercise is one of the things I went back to,” she said.
“I had been running up until the time of my diagnosis and during my chemotherapy I put on a lot of weight and had been unwell on and off.
“I also suffer with depression as an offshoot of the cancer, so the exercise really helps that.”
Boyle was one of several guest speakers at yesterday’s Living Well Beyond Breast Cancer forum.
More than 240 women and their families packed out The Cube Wodonga for the event.
“One of my messages is that it doesn’t matter where you are from, if you have breast cancer it’s not easy,” she said.
Albury-Wodonga Breast Cancer Support Group facilitator Robyn Daly praised the good work of the network for bringing the forum to the Border.
Mrs Daly was impressed with the presentation given by psycho-oncologist Jane Fletcher.
“She talked about being mindful that you don’t create stories in your mind,” she said.
“She said you have to stay positive and take each day as it comes.”
Community programs manager Lisa Allwell said it highlighted medical, physical and emotional aspects of living well after a breast cancer diagnosis.
Ms Allwell said about 10 women were diagnosed every day in Victoria, generating a large need for support and information.
“Our speakers covered a range of issues faced by women with breast cancer and provide strategies to help get them through their journey,” she said.