LISMORE mum Naomi Downs-Cartledge was married just six months before she discovered a lump under her arm.

Tests revealed she had a highly aggressive form of breast cancer which had already spread to her lymph nodes.

The road to recovery began with a mastectomy follow by a three-month regime of strong chemotherapy every three weeks, before an intensive 12-week session of chemotherapy every week.

Following that, Mrs Downs-Cartledge will undergo radiation therapy and then a "targeted phase" of drug treatment.

Despite the ordeal, the mother of two counts herself lucky.

PINK BUN, ANYONE? Lismore mum and cancer patient Naomi Downs-Cartledge preparing for Breast Cancer Network Australia’s Bakers Delight Pink Bun campaign.
PINK BUN, ANYONE? Lismore mum and cancer patient Naomi Downs-Cartledge preparing for Breast Cancer Network Australia’s Bakers Delight Pink Bun campaign. Marc Stapelberg

She narrowly missed a "death sentence", falling just short of a stage four breast cancer diagnosis which would have meant the cancer had spread to other areas of the body such as the brain, bones, lungs and liver.

Mrs Downs-Cartledge said the journey to recovery would have been a great deal harder had it not been for the support of the Breast Cancer Network Australia.

"You do truly need it, with the medications and the appointments," she said.

"And it gives you a journal to put things down in, (and) it gives you nice things to read about other women who have gone through cancer.

"They sent me out a bra which had a padded boob in it.

"It also gives you lots of information that really allows you to look at it and not be so scared."

It was the support Mrs Downs-Cartledge received from the Breast Cancer Network Australia that made her want to be an ambassador for the organisation's annual Bakers Delight Pink Bun campaign.

During the campaign, every Bakers Delight around the country donates 100% of the sale of their pink buns to the Breast Cancer Network Australia.

To date, the campaign has raised more than $15 million.


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