The last couple of years have been life-changing for Hope Island local Jo De Goldi, with the highest of career highs, followed by crushing health news.
Ms De Goldi, a singer, dancer and circus performer-turned-teacher was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2016 after her first mammogram. This was one year after appearing on The Voice as part of Team Delta.
“It was an extreme change in circumstance – the same day a year prior to when I found out I had breast cancer, I was in Sydney filming,” she said.
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“I was lucky to have the support of my wonderful husband and children – it’s been a dreadfully rough journey for them as well.”
Now the mum-of-three (aged 19, 16, 10) is sharing her story to raise awareness and hope for other locals affected by the disease as the Face of Cancer Council Queensland’s Northern Gold Coast Relay For Life, to be held on October 28-29 at Coomera Anglican College.
After two lumpectomies and a mastectomy, Ms De Goldi walked cancer free at Relay For Life last year. It was the first time she had participated for the full 18 hours, although Ms De Goldi had shown her support for the cause many times prior.
Ms De Goldi said she was honoured to be named the Face of Relay and lead the survivors and carers lap to officially open the Northern Gold Coast event. She encouraged the community to throw their support behind the cause and join her.
“I feel so chuffed – I cried when I was told,” she said.
“I know first-hand how important it is to have support and information on-hand during a cancer experience.
“When I was first diagnosed I was given an informational booklet and accessed a couple other support avenues.
“If I ever needed to ask questions, there were people there, so I didn’t feel like I was on a journey by myself, which was wonderful and took away some of the stress.
“Resources and support services all cost money and that’s why events like Relay that bring the community together to fundraise are so important.”
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said Relay For Life organisers were delighted to have Ms De Goldi on board as Face of Relay.
“Relay is more than just a fundraiser, it’s a community carnival for a great cause, supporting locals affected by cancer,” Ms McMillan said.
“If you’re passionate about cancer prevention and support, or are looking for a way to give back in the community, team up and join Jo at Northern Gold Coast Relay For Life.”
Relay For Life is an 18 hour event involving teams of people keeping a baton moving in a relay-style walk or run overnight, in support of all Queenslanders, all cancers.
Local survivors and carers who want to join Ms De Goldi for the special survivors and carers lap can register by contacting Cancer Council Queensland’s Gold Coast office on (07) 5503 3700, or visiting the Relay registration desk on Saturday, October 28 from 1pm.
To register a team, donate or find out more, visit relayforlife.org.au or phone the Fundraising Hotline 1300 65 65 85.