“In 2015 I had just lost my dad to cancer and found out that I also had it.”
Shortly after losing her father, Tracey found out she had cancer. Tracey underwent an operation and had her kidney removed.
Tracey’s first tumour was 11 centimetres long inside her kidney. The procedure was daunting, having to lift and remove the kidney hoping it wouldn’t break – whilst hoping the cancer hadn’t gone through her whole body. Tracey recalls that the cancer had gone through her adrenal glands but there was enough clearance so luckily, she didn’t have to do chemotherapy.
“And then I found out that I had secondary cancer again in my ovaries and had a radical hysterectomy.” This was Tracey’s second time coming face to face with cancer. Luckily, the cancer had been removed during the operation. Although the fear of cancer will always remain for Tracey.
“So that was in 2019 so I’m all good. So far – fingers crossed – it’s all gone, but I have a fear of it coming back – everyone talks about that.”
Pictured above: Tracey speaking about her experience at Walking Stars 2021
Along with losing her father in 2015, Tracey then lost her best friend to leukaemia in 2019. He was diagnosed and 8 weeks later he passed away.
Unfortunately, Tracey’s story is too common amongst families. There are over 34,000 Victorians each year who are told those three devastating words: ‘You have cancer’.
After a rough few years that included her diagnosis and treatment, losing a best friend to leukaemia, along with the complications of the pandemic, Tracey saw Walking Stars as an opportunity to celebrate and reflect.
“I was walking for my dad and my best friend Kevin, that had lost their battles to cancer, and myself. I had just turned 60 and have had cancer twice. I thought of how Kevin had fought so hard and if he could do that, I could keep walking. I proudly got to the end, and with the cheers from the awesome volunteers I crossed the finish line!” she recalls.
Tracey says she chose to take part in Walking Stars so she could give back and help build a future where people don’t have to go through the pain and devastation of a cancer diagnosis.
“I had a thought in my head that I would like to do something like that for me as well as my loved ones that could no longer do it.”
Looking ahead to another stellar edition of Walking Stars towards the end of the year, we can all find inspiration from Tracey Raymer.
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