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 "Christmas is a time of love and compassion. Without the work of Associate Professor Rhonda Farrell and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, I wouldn’t be here to spend Christmas with my boys."

- Lucy Londregan, patient at Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

In 2005, when I was 32, I was told I had a tumor on my ovaries.

The news was devastating. I had just met the love of my life and now husband, Adam. We were planning a family together and I had taken on a big new role at work.

At the end of my first surgery, I was left with a quarter of an ovary. The thought of not being able to have children was gut-wrenching.

When we found out I was pregnant with William, Adam and I were overjoyed. It was amazing, he’s my little miracle. Then I fell pregnant with Isaac, miracle number two.

I first met Associate Professor Rhonda Farrell when I was pregnant with Isaac. We had found another cyst that was growing on my ovaries.

The cancer was back, and it was growing faster than he was.

I was terrified, for Isaac, for myself, for baby William and the life that Adam and I had built together.

Rhonda put me at ease. She’s always been straight up with me and I knew that I was in the best possible hands. Despite that, it was one of the most stressful times in my life.

By donating today, you can help women, like me, whose worlds have been turned upside down by this terribly aggressive disease.


I live every day with a grateful heart that we managed to deliver Isaac safely. Believe it or not he’s a spritely lad of 11 now.

What I’ve experienced, first-hand, is that ovarian cancer is an incredibly insidious disease. Symptoms are minimal and vague, and you don’t know you’ve got it until quite late. 

Unfortunately, there’s no adequate screening for ovarian cancer. You can’t have a mammogram like you would for breast cancer. Researchers like Associate Professor Rhonda Farrell, and her team must focus on finding the most effective ways to treat this disease, but they need your help to do it.

After my reoccurrence in 2009, I went back to living life. I had two young boys and was busy being a mum and focusing on my well-being. I returned to my ultra-trail running, and Adam and I started running a business together. Health and fitness had always been so important to me and after being unwell for so long I really wanted to focus my energy on this. 

Life had just about returned to normal for me and my family, when – again – something didn’t feel right.

It was 2019. My family and I were on a holiday in Europe and I was experiencing some pain and discomfort. My stomach began to bloat, to the point where people were offering me their seat because they thought I was pregnant.

I came back and saw Rhonda at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. I was scared and confused. I thought, ‘I’ve had a hysterectomy so this can’t be related to my cancer, can it?’. The scan revealed my worst fears - my cancer had returned, and it had spread. I had a big tumour behind my stomach. It was all through my bowels, my liver, diaphragm and rectum.

When Adam and I sat down and told the boys, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was a time when we didn’t know what was coming and our family needed to prepare for the worst.

I’ve learnt that ovarian cancer is often called the ‘silent killer’ because symptoms are minimal and vague, and most women don’t notice it until it’s done some serious damage. There are four main stages of a cancer diagnosis – stage 1 being relatively early, while stage 4 is the most serious and often presents a terminal prognosis.

At these later stages, when the cancer has already spread around the body, treatment can be highly traumatic, or no longer an option. Like most cancers, ovarian cancer doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all treatment. Depending on your type of cancer, how far it’s progressed and what your circumstances are, treatment can be surgery, chemo, hormone therapy, none of the above, or all.

Rhonda has told me that she and her team are doing research into ovarian cancer treatments but that this area of research is still really underfunded. All I want is for more research to be done into this aggressive disease, so that more women can survive their cancer.

Please donate to cancer research today that will help people with cancer live longer, healthier lives.

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“I am beyond grateful to the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse donor community that has helped move ovarian cancer research forward.

We have made some great leaps forward in being able to find new ways to treat this aggressive disease and give women the best possible chance of survival.

However, the survival rate remains low for this type of cancer and research is critical to help improve outcomes for patients with ovarian cancer.”

- Associate Professor Rhonda Farrell