TEARS of both joy and sorrow have flowed at Gold Coast Institute of TAFE (GCIT) during a visit by high profile cancer battler Connie Johnson.
Together with her actor brother Samuel Johnson they lead the charity Love Your Sister. Samuel recently completed a journey across Australia on a unicycle, raising $1.5million for the cause.
Yesterday, Connie visited the Southport campus to chat with student nurses about the importance of their future role, as she cannot emphasize enough how vital nurses have been throughout her treatment journey.
The 37-year-old mother of two is battling cancer for the third time in her life. This time it is breast cancer and it has spread to her lungs, liver, pelvis, spine and knee and it’s terminal.
Connie spoke of how important it was to be treated as a ‘mother’ and a ‘wife’ or ‘friend’ as opposed to a cancer sufferer. Her brave tale brought tears to the eyes of many in the crowd.
But later it was to be tears of joy and pride, when an entire pink wall was unveiled in dedication to Connie.
The wall features more than 150 personally written messages of support and well wishes from GCIT staff and students.
GCIT CEO Aaron Devine, said the TAFE aims to help share Connie’s story and raise breast cancer awareness while instilling the importance of nursing into GCIT’s emerging student nurses.
“As well as raising funds and awareness, we want to show our student nurses the significance of their future role and the positive impact they can have to shape and change someone’s life while they undergo treatment,” said Mr Devine.
“The Institute is very proud to be associated with this extremely worthy cause and we are honoured to dedicate our Health labs to Connie as a constant reminder to our budding nurses about the significance of their chosen career,” he added.
GCIT students and staff were encouraged to donate a gold coin and write their messages of support on the wall with all proceeds going to the Love Your Sister charity who invest it into breast cancer research.
Each written message has been photographed and the images made into a hard cover book for Connie to take home as a reminder that her story has inspired many up and coming nurses.