World Ovarian Cancer Day

9th May 2019

Mr GREG PIPER (Lake Macquarie) (15:28): By leave: I am pleased to have the opportunity to make a brief contribution on this matter of public importance relating to World Ovarian Cancer Day. I acknowledge the member for Swansea for bringing this important issue before the House. Over a relatively short period warriors have been out there championing the cause and have done an amazing job in raising awareness of this insidious disease. But there is still a lot to do. I raised this issue in the House on 23 November and I spoke about a local champion in my electorate who was taking up the fight: Liz Wright from Wangi Wangi. Liz and her Teal Sisters have been raising funds, not for themselves but for others who will come after them. Liz was diagnosed with stage four metastatic ovarian cancer in June 2017. She is keen to use her time productively to raise more money so that other women and their families will not suffer from this awful disease.

A lot of people are touched by this disease. One of my electorate officers had a very close friend who passed away in January this year. Her friend, Kim Monnox, was a much loved and well-known family lawyer from Newcastle. Kim was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just five weeks before she died. She went from being a healthy, active mother who did not know she had this disease to passing away in just 35 days. That is extraordinary. I acknowledge everyone who has mentioned Jill Emberson. I like to claim her as a friend but maybe everybody in the Hunter who knows her does the same. I have known Jill since she came to the area from Melbourne to work for ABC radio. She is a fantastic woman. I do not think that even she can believe how strong she is and what she has been able to achieve.

With people like Liz and Jill and members of this House, we will make the changes because we will keep driving the argument for more funding. This is not about taking away funding from breast cancer or other cancers. That funding has had great results and I am sure everyone is pleased about those achievements but this insidious disease, ovarian cancer, needs particular attention. We need to ensure that the funding is put in place to undertake research so that we can remove this death sentence from so many women.

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