Positivity a winning strategy

Reason to celebrate: Sue Morrison-Bailey (left) celebrates her successful battle with cancer by hugging her daughter Alex. There will be a Pink Ribbon Breakfast fundraiser at the ILT Stadium on Sunday. PHOTO: LUISA GIRAO

A LIFE-CHANGING event can lead to either a life filled with negativity or positivity.

Southland woman Sue Morrison-Bailey made a decision when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in February last year she was going to face it as a fighter, not a victim.

Her strategy worked and Sue can now say she is free of the big C.

“Cancer is always the big risk out there but when it impacts you it is like… wow! It is a shock.

“But for me, I saw it as something to learn from. It was a long, drawn out year, but when you come to the other side you feel recharged, renewed, reinvigorated and ready for the next part of life.”

Mrs Morrison-Bailey had a mastectomy during lockdown, then underwent six rounds of chemotherapy and three weeks of radiation treatment.

“I told my doctor never want to see you again’,” she joked. “I’m at the stage now where I’m waiting for breast reconstruction and my surgeon promises me a tummy tuck for that, so I’m looking forward to that.”

Mrs Morrison-Bailey found out about the cancer on Valentine’s Day last year.

The next day, her mother passed away and she managed to keep the news about the cancer to herself for two weeks.

She did not want to worry her family, especially her only child Alex Morrison-Bailey (26).

Mrs Morrison-Bailey tried to keep positive during the whole process.

“That fear and dread it is something you have to go through in order to have a fighting chance.

“I am very much into my wine, so every chemo cycle I had a different style of wine. So I told the staff is chardonnay week and I’m looking forward to it.”

Ms Morrison-Bailey admired her mother’s positive outlook.

“It was amazing, her positivity. Even on the crap days with the chemo I could convince her to get on to the bike and do some exercise.

“The initial reaction was pretty much shock because you hear the cancer word, you get automatically scared. But mum definitely makes it not scary.”

She remembers her mother naming her medicines after cocktails such as mojito or pina colada.

“She was always like that. It helped take this scariness away.”

It being a cause close to her heart, Ms Morrison-Bailey, who is events manager at ILT Stadium, decided to ask her bosses to host a Pink Ribbon Breakfast fundraiser last year.

They were on board, and this Sunday the ILT Stadium team will host the second edition of the Pink Ribbon Breakfast “boobie brunch” fundraiser.

Lana Winders, Pat Dennis and Alan Dennis will be guest speakers for the event.

Fifteen dollars from every ticket will be donated to the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation.ILT Stadium Southland Pink Ribbon Breakfast, Sunday from 10am to 11.30am. Tickets are $40 per person and can be bought online at www.stadiumsouth.co.nz