Dear fellow FLF supporter,
I wanted to share a little more about my story so you can understand why I’m so thankful for your support to the Foundation. Even though we’re yet to find a cure, it gives me such hope knowing that the FLF are doing everything they can to bring us closer to finding the best treatment for FL patients across the globe.
I’m Kirsty, 41-years-old, and a mother to two incredible teenagers (Ripp, 16 and Tyla, 15). We live together with my partner Jim on a small farm in rural Australia. I’m a hairdresser and absolutely love my job. My family, my work, and my animals (especially my horses!) are my life.
After being unwell for some time, with extreme fatigue and lumps in my neck. My doctors sent me for numerous tests which showed clear results. I was told I was fine.
A lump then progressed in my groin a short time after, so I was sent for a biopsy. Within 12 hours I received a call from my doctor telling me to drop everything and come to his office with a support person. This was two days before Christmas. I knew straight away it wasn’t good news. I felt sick. I was diagnosed with Follicular Lymphoma late December 2021.
My biggest worry was how I was going to explain my diagnosis to my kids. They had seen me unwell for some time and knew I was getting tests done, so we decided that telling them the truth was the best option. Jim and I put on a brave face even though we were unsure of what the future held.
The Christmas period was a blur of medical appointments and not knowing what I was up against. After a PET scan we learnt I was stage three, grade two. I was advised to go on watch and wait, which is where you’re closely monitored but not given treatment until symptoms change. I’m still on watch and wait almost a year on.
Some days can be rough, physically, and mentally. I see my haematologist every three months. I have more tumours popping up often, so we know my treatment journey isn’t too far away. I am still currently managing to work full time and ride my horses as often as I can. However, sometimes it can be a struggle physically.
I don’t know how long I have until my treatment, and how hard that will be for myself and everyone around me. Which is why I try to make the most of every day before that. Prioritising spending quality time with friends and family as much as I can.
I’m so grateful that the FLF exists and is fighting our corner for more focus on FL research. It gives me hope knowing that funding and expertise is being utilised, thanks to supporters like you.
Sending my best from Australia,