TRACY Bevan knows the importance of educating young women about breast cancer.
Girls as young as 16 diagnosed with breast cancer have presented to the McGrath Foundation, where she is ambassador and director.
“At the McGrath Foundation, I’ve heard of two 16-year-old girls who have been diagnosed,” the wife of former Test batsman Michael Bevan said.
“And I know there was a case of a 10-year-old in the UK diagnosed with breast cancer.”
Mrs Bevan was in Albury on Saturday to address 340 women the Albury Tigers Football Club Hey Ladies Lunch, in support of the breast cancer organisation.
She spoke of her experiences watching best friend Jane McGrath, wife of cricket legend Glenn, battle the illness which took her life in 2008.
She spoke of the need of the next generation of young women to be “breast aware”.
Mrs Bevan didn’t want young girls to be scared of breast cancer.
Instead, she wanted them to be educated, to look out for changes in their breasts and be open to talking about them.
“The message to a 13-year-old is not to do with breast cancer, but getting young girls to talk about breasts because it’s a difficult age,” she said.
“(They need) to know that breasts come in all different shapes and sizes, there’s no right or wrong, and once you get to know them you’ll notice any changes, which could be the first sign of breast cancer.
“When we were on an Ashes tour in ’97... Jane said to me, “Does my boob look a funny shape?”
“That didn’t mean anything to me but looking back that tells me Jane knew her breast was a funny shape because she checked her breasts, and the reason she was breast aware was because her mother had breast cancer.”
The McGrath Foundation will soon launch Curve Lurve, a program for girls and women aged 13 to 45, which addresses the importance of breast awareness and empowers young women to care for their bodies and embrace their curves.
Ties between the McGrath Foundation and the Border have always been strong.
Mrs Bevan said Albury-Wodonga had the second foundation-funded breast care nurse in 2006, the first being Jane’s own nurse.
The foundation now has two breast care nurses in Albury-Wodonga and 83 across Australia, with 87 per cent of those located in rural and regional areas.
Mrs Bevan was grateful to the football club for raising almost $50,000 in five years of the annual Hey Ladies Lunch, with an estimated $14,000 collected from the weekend.
“I just want to say a massive thank you to the football club for their continued support,” she said.
“It’s a great day.”
“I really look forward to coming down every year.”