Mum, you're an inspiration

Laidley teenager Kaitlin Campbell with her mother Angie.
Laidley teenager Kaitlin Campbell with her mother Angie. Sarah Harvey

AFTER seeing her mum battle breast cancer, Kaitlin Campbell was inspired to pursue a career in nursing.

The 17-year-old Laidley student has been awarded a 2012 Seize the Day Study Award by the Cancer Council Queensland to support her Bachelor of Nursing at University of Queensland.

"My Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 and underwent a full mastectomy and had had her lymph nodes removed, as well as chemotherapy and radiation," Ms Campbell said.

"She was going to lots of appointments and my sister and I didn't really know what was going on.

"Her diagnosis with breast cancer was a traumatic experience for me as a 10-year-old - I was frightened by the illness and the possible outcomes."

Ms Campbell said her mother Angie's experience with cancer has influenced her attitude, outlook on life and study goals.

"The impact of Mum's cancer diagnosis has had a major role in my decision to pursue nursing as a career," she said.

"The experience has encouraged me to set goals and tackle them with a positive attitude and determination. Watching Mum deal with her cancer and treatment made me realise how unexpected life can be and how important it is to make every opportunity you are given count."

It is eight years since the diagnosis, and Mrs Campbell said she tried to remain positive.

"I still go to my oncologist once a year, but they never really say you've got the all clear," the 49-year-old said.

Cancer Council Queensland spokeswoman Katie Clift said the Seize the Day Awards program acknowledged the courage of young people living with cancer.

Young Queenslanders affected by cancer are encouraged to apply for this year's awards.

Applications open on April 10 and are available online at



  • 40 women each day will be diagnosed in 2013.
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women.
  • 88% chance of survival five years after diagnosis.

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