A RIVERINA woman who was helping her family prepare for a nationwide cancer-research fundraiser later this month has tragically died after losing her battle against breast cancer.
Aleena Bradley, based in Tumbarumba, last week succumbed to triple negative breast cancer after being diagnosed with the condition in 2017.
The 34-year-old's death comes as she was helping her father and brother prepare for the next leg of Shitbox Rally starting on October 19.
The initiative will involve participants tackling some of Australia's dusty outback roads to raise funds for Cancer Council Australia.
Ms Bradley, along with her father, Michael Bradley, was initially going to drive a $500 Ford Falcon across more than 3500km from Melbourne to Townsville.
But her condition worsened, leaving her brother, Glen, to take her spot.
Ms Bradley was the only daughter to Michael and Pam Bradley, who also had two sons.
Pam described her daughter as "selfless, strong and the most lovable daughter".
"She shared that love with anyone who came into contact with her," Pam said.
"She was the driving force behind the whole rally and right on it until the very end.
"Always getting the boys to make this change or that change [to the car] and get the car working."
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Pam said her daughter was always happy and put family before everything else.
"She battled her cancer very bravely, very aggressively until her last breath," Pam said.
Aleena, who would have turned 35 at the end of this month, went to public schools in Tumbarumba before attending Yanco Agricultural High School from year 9-12.
She then became a hairdresser and started her own salon.
Before she died, she underwent chemotherapy followed by surgery and radiation. Unfortunately, almost one year to the day of treatment, the cancer had returned.
"They're on the verge of breakthroughs and they just need that money to keep pushing hard," she said.
Cancer Council states that triple negative breast cancer is very difficult to treat and that its five-year survival lags well behind that of other breast cancer types.
Aleena was also the mother of Stella Vandewalle, the fiance of Dylan Vandewalle and cherished friend of many.
Her funeral was held on Wednesday.
- Donations may be made to Michael and Glen Bradley's Shitbox Rally campaign online.