AN ALBURY paramedic battling an aggressive cancer is urging people to not become complacent about their health amid the coronavirus crisis.
Kelly Franks was diagnosed with breast cancer only five weeks ago when she first noticed a thickening of one breast but no actual lump.
An ultrasound revealed a tumour before a biopsy confirmed that it was malignant.
"I was completely asymptomatic; I felt well and healthy," the Wodonga mother-of-three said.
"I am a 41-year-old, busy mum just living my life; don't ever get complacent about your health."
Having had a mastectomy late last month, Ms Franks found an aggressive and metastatic breast cancer had since spread to her spine, pelvis and rib.
"All of my doctors were shocked by how aggressive my cancer is," Ms Franks said.
"They think I've had the tumour for six months and the mets (metastatic cancer) for three months.
"I'm determined to spread awareness to other young people to not be complacent about their health.
"I'm small fry in this but I've since found out breast cancer in young women is really very common."
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Together with her husband Joel, Ms Franks is also raising Jack, 7, and Bailey, 22, who has Williams Syndrome, while Brooke, 19, is studying in Melbourne.
She said Bailey was completely dependent on them.
"I am the carer of our disabled son, our little boy and the rest of the community, yet here I am with an uncertain future," she said.
Having finally found her calling as a paramedic two years ago when she joined the NSW Ambulance Service, Ms Franks had high praise for the Border healthcare sector.
"People need to be aware that the Base Hospital, surgeons and oncologists are first-rate," Ms Franks said.
"I'm a public patient but I got my surgery within six days.
"I was allowed to recover at home because of the Hospital in the Home service, which really helped."
Following a post-surgery setback, Ms Franks now remained positive about her chances of beating the cancer, which was hormone-receptor positive.
"In my job I see all of the end of life care," she said.
"My oncologist reminded me that I didn't see all of the people still going strong five years later.
"I have started treatment and hopefully I can be the miracle everyone needs in their life!"
Ms Franks' work colleagues have started a GoFundMe page to help her cover treatment costs and the family's living expenses.
To donate visit: gofundme.com/f/kelly-kicks-kancer
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