Her series of unfortunate events, Felicity Cahill calls it.
The phrase downplays the difficult reality she faced a couple of years ago – her son Isaack born with kidney problems and within months husband Lincoln diagnosed with brain tumours.
“They were both having operations at the same time in Melbourne,” she said.
Ask the Albury mother how she got through this period and a wry laugh follows.
“I don’t know, it led me on to the path I’m on to now,” she said.
Some steps along that path will actually be dance moves as Mrs Cahill joins the line-up for this year’s Stars of the Border Dance for Cancer.
The 2018 gala night is now within eight weeks away, so the 13 Border identities taking part are allowed to start learning the routines they will present at Albury Entertainment Centre on May 4.
Paired with dance teachers, the stars also raise money for Cancer Council NSW.
Mrs Cahill previously did a fundraiser for the Albury hospital children’s ward “so this year it’s something to do with my husband”.
But not only her husband, with her father, grandfather and aunt also battling cancer.
“I guess it was my way of giving back directly to them,” she said.
Mr Cahill still has brain tumours but is stable while Isaack, now 3, receives treatment for chronic kidney failure and may one day need a transplant.
“It’s always lingering in the back of our minds, but he’s getting bigger and stronger every day, which is a bonus,” his mother said.
During her husband’s treatment time in Melbourne, Mrs Cahill decided to buy some make-up.
“I just went down the street to try and cover the ever-increasing look of my ageing face with my husband being unwell,” she said.
“When I walked out of the shop I realised it had nothing to do with the type of make-up you had, it had to do with how you to put it on. So I taught myself from there, underwent some courses.”
Two years later, Mrs Cahill, who had a business management background, is a full-time make-up artist and the new interest has been something of a sanity saver.
“I just picked up a brush and realised that I might be able to do this and just kept going and going and going,” she said. “It was kind of the thing I did when I needed my time away from my unwell family, I suppose.”
Mrs Cahill will hold a look and learn event on April 8 at Albury Entertainment Centre to support her Dance for Cancer fundraising. Her model will be Olivia Aughton, who won Stars of the Border last year, with online tickets through eventbrite.
“Just basically an afternoon of make-up and girls and goodies and giveaways,” Mrs Cahill said.