Amanda McEwan’s incredible story of bravery received an emotional standing ovation from the guests at the Foundation’s annual dinner, A Night to Remember. We are honoured to share her story with you below:

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

My name is Amanda McEwan and I’ve been asked to share my story with you.

In August 2014, aged 41, I was diagnosed with a rare type of head and neck cancer. This first presented in the back of my tongue and throat area. We were told it was a treatable disease, so I underwent extensive radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.

In February 2015, after a follow up scan, the disease had spread with lung, spine and bone secondaries. Our world crashed that day with the outlook and survival rate for me approximately 1 to 2 years only. And the words incurable disease was now presented to me and my husband.

My health was not bad during the early part of last year until August when a large amount of fluid had spread through my chest, which caused more health issues. In September last year, after more scans, we were told by specialists we were now looking at months not years.

We tried to stay positive with an optimistic outlook and started looking into several different options for treatment. One included research through a cancer medical expert who has found a multiple range of therapies that will help.

As my cancer is complex and aggressive, she has helped supply a range of supplements to support my body’s immune system with the aim to give precious added time. These still complement and work together with the mainstream medicines that are available.

This research and incorporating the supplements within my treatment and everyday life has given me and my family hope. It has helped me retain the view of never giving up and the drive to fight through some moments I’d like to forget about completely. I look at what I have around me, all those wonderful people who are so meaningful to me, and feel absolutely blessed every day!!

I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the support and constant positivity shown from my wonderful family, my husband and soul mate Craig and my precious boys – Jake (who’s 20) and Macauley (18). I am so proud of them.

Not to forget the overwhelming love that has been shown by my many friends, some of whom have joined us at our table tonight. Thank you to Steve for our invite, your kind encouraging words and respectful way you have addressed this very public matter for myself and my family.

As tonight is all about medical research for the future, we have some treatment options to explore further. Most are unfunded and extremely costly with the research still continuing and a long way off showing proven results. So I’m prepared to put my body on the line and be the next trail blazer to help others benefit from the drugs that are still in the next trial phase.

I would also like to acknowledge the work of many health professionals that are willing to step outside mainstream medications and teachings and look further into additional/complementary therapies that help give families hope and extra precious time to be with their loved ones.

If you can, please support tonight’s raffles and auction and fill in the donation forms. My time is limited but we all need to look to the future and the health of our children.

Thank you for listening to my story.

Amanda