Bay breast cancer heroine face of new calendar
KIM Harris's son was just six weeks old when she noticed the lump on her breast had doubled in size.
The Hervey Bay woman is a survivor, or more accurately, a fighter.
The 37-year-old has fought for her life against the ravages of breast cancer and she is still fighting the after effects today.
The lump she had been told at 28 was nothing to worry about, turned out to be one of four cancerous lumps in her breasts at age 30.
The former mine worker moved to Brisbane for eight months with her parents who helped take care of her newborn son and supported her through treatment.
"It was hard on them, harder on them than me," she said.
"Hell is the best way to describe it. I had every single side-effect they had listed.
"I was in control more than anyone. I got to fight instead of sitting around waiting."
After a long battle involving a double mastectomy, re-constructive surgery and numerous health complications, it was two years ago Kim, her partner and now seven-year-old son decided on a lifestyle change and landed in Hervey Bay.
It was here, Kim met fellow cancer survivor Kat Thompson -last year's local face on the So Brave fundraising calendar. Run by Australia's Young Women's Breast Cancer Charity, Kim will feature in this year's publication, transformed by body-paint artist Wendy Fantazia.
"When I first saw the calendar instantly I thought how amazing these ladies look," Kim said.
"I thought, I want to look like that and feel like they did in that moment.
"When you are diagnosed and you lose hair and go through operations you are very critical of the person you see in the mirror.
"I feel it's important to spread awareness to every female about being breast aware and through the calendar I can help those that have or are going through treatment know that there is and can be still colour in their lives."
Kat and Kim will host a fundraising lunch at the Hervey Bay Boat Club on April 5 with raffles, guest speakers and auctions. Tickets are $50 or $450 for a table, for more information visit sobrave.com.au/herveybay.