"At the age of 31, I was given the diagnosis nobody ever expects or wants to hear. I became one of the 1,600 Australian women diagnosed with ovarian cancer each year".
"Being diagnosed with cancer was terrifying. I became aware of my mortality and faced questions I never thought I would need to worry about at this young age. Questions like not being able to have kids, being on early menopause, losing my hair to chemotherapy or even worse, how long would I live?
"The very next day after diagnosis, I had surgery to remove both my ovaries, fallopian tubes and uterus, followed by five months of chemo. I lost so much. I lost my chance to have kids, I lost my hair, my confidence, part of who I am.
"My cancer journey has been difficult, but I’m staying positive and strong because I have received the best treatment possible. Being a medical researcher, I truly believe in the power and potential research has to develop new therapies and save lives.
"As a cancer patient, it’s so important to have hope. Research gives power to scientists, medical teams and importantly patients. By hosting a Girls’ Night In you’re raising money for vital research into women’s cancers, which gives women like me hope that we can live longer and live healthy. I know I’m not alone and treatments have evolved a lot thanks to research.
"I have learnt a lot with cancer, that hair and looks are not everything, that everything in life depends on our perspective, and there is nothing like family and friends. Girls’ Night In is the perfect opportunity to catch up with your girlfriends while raising funds to change the lives of women affected by breast and gynaecological cancers.
"Every day is a good new day. In this sense, the cancer has been a blessing, and not a curse, because it has opened my eyes and allowed me to see life and help others in ways I never thought possible."
Host a Girls' Night In and give hope to people like Francine.