At 55 years of age, Jackie has taken on many challenges in life – from walking the grueling Camino trail in Spain to travelling across the world.
Now, Jackie is facing her biggest challenge yet after being diagnosed with Stage 4 bowel cancer in September 2022.
Jackie has always led a healthy lifestyle, exercised regularly, maintained a healthy weight range and completed the regular bowel cancer testing kits, which always returned a negative result.
In fact, the only symptom Jackie noticed in the lead up to her devastating diagnosis was some shortness of breath. After managing her shortness of breath for some time, Jackie went to see her GP who advised her to see a cardiologist.
“I had blood tests done and the cardiologist noticed some abnormalities in my liver and ordered an ultrasound, which was then followed by a CT scan and a PET scan,” said Jackie.
“They [the scans] showed large masses on the liver and spots on the lung. I then had a liver biopsy which determined the bowel as the primary source.”
Since her diagnosis, Jackie has embodied resilience and strength with the support of her family.
Despite Jackie’s incredible attitude and desire to cherish each day, her cancer diagnosis has come with the devastating reality of countless appointments, surgeries and treatments.
“My cancer is classified as terminal, which has been such a devastating blow,” said Jackie.
“I had surgery to have a port inserted and undergo chemotherapy every second week since diagnosis. I initially had 6-hour infusions, now down to 2 hours in the chair and then have a take home bottle connected via my port for 48 hours.”
“The week after chemo is never easy but the second week gets better. The side effects cause other issues and each day I try to persevere and remain positive, determination and support help me through challenging obstacles.”
Jackie may be facing the fight for her life, but she is determined to help other people like her, raise awareness of bowel cancer and fight for lifesaving cancer research through The Longest Table.
Jackie is hosting a Longest Table at The Adelaide Bowling Club on Sunday, 25 June. Her theme – when life gives you lemons, squeeze the day – represents her belief that you should not waste a single day of your life as you never know what tomorrow will bring.
“We have an amazing menu by Food Man Chew and are hoping to do some lawn bowling (weather permitting),” said Jackie.
“There will be a wine wall, raffles and other activities from 12pm – 3pm and we are hoping to raise $3000.”
Jackie hopes her efforts at The Longest Table will go a long way toward fighting for better treatments and ultimately, help find a cure for cancer.
“New treatments such as immunotherapy and targeted therapies have shown promising results, and I believe that with more research, we can continue to make progress in the fight against cancer,” said Jackie.
“Every dollar counts and can make a significant impact in the fight against cancer.”
Join Jackie in the fight against cancer and squeeze the day at Adelaide Bowling Club on Sunday, 25 June.
Buy your tickets here!