A woman whose young son and daughter died from cancer within just four months of each other has revealed she is now battling grade three breast cancer.
Lee White, 42, from Mernda, north of Melbourne, received the devastating diagnosis on July 2 after discovering a lump in her breast while showering a month earlier.
The mum is now undergoing six months of chemotherapy – bringing back painful memories of watching two of her children succumb to the deadly disease.
Ashley – the eldest child of Ms White and her 52-year-old partner Mick McNeil – died two days before Christmas in 2014 while battling stomach cancer.
At just 22-years-old, Ashley had overcome Leukaemia as an infant and was forced to have his bowel removed at the age of 18.
Their youngest daughter, Samantha, died on April 5, 2015, at the tender age of 17.
She was diagnosed with brain cancer when she was eight-years-old and overcame the disease, but by the time she reached her teens the tumour had grown back twice.
“Now I’ve experienced it myself, I know now how hard that must have been for them,” Ms White tearfully told Yahoo News Australia.
“We thought we wouldn’t have to go through this again.”
During their battles with the disease, Ms White said she learned both she and her husband have Lynch Syndrome – a hereditary disorder that increases the risk of developing numerous cancers.
Because of this, Ashley and Samantha were born with two mutated genes, while their third daughter, Becky, was born with two normal genes.
Ms White said doctors also diagnosed Ashley and Samantha with Constitutional Mismatch repair Deficiency Syndrome, a hereditary cancer predisposition that typically presents in infancy or young adulthood.
The 42-year-old told Yahoo News Australia Becky is the only thing keeping her and Mick going every day.
“If we didn’t have her we wouldn’t be able to get up in the morning,” she said.
Ms White said she’s been unable to attend work because the chemotherapy has taken a toll on her body and that surviving on one income has been difficult.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.