Nat Deague’s world was turned upside down on September 11, 2018, but she turned the negative into a positive to raise over $1.2 million for blood cancer research. More than $600,000 was raised at her cocktail event with the Epworth Medical Foundation matching this amount dollar for dollar!
What started out like any other week rapidly changed when Nat noticed a lump during a gym workout. Not one to leave things, Nat made an appointment with her GP that same day. The GP felt it was probably nothing but ordered Nat an ultrasound to be cautious. Nat’s instinct told her she needed to get that ultrasound done immediately and the results confirmed her instinct was right.
Within two days Nat went from an incredibly happy healthy life with her husband and two young children to someone that had been told she had stage 4 incurable follicular lymphoma. She gave herself five years and began the life of a cancer patient.
She underwent painful biopsies, scans, blood tests, and of course chemotherapy. All the while filling her time with questions like How many years will I have? How old will my children be when I pass away? Who could possibly care and love my children the way I have?
Then through the advice of others, she sought out Prof Miles Prince for another opinion. He noticed something others hadn’t. Her tumour had been present for a while and was not progressing rapidly. She was in stage 2 and had a good chance of knocking this lymphoma out of her system.
Nat still has a long road of cancer treatment ahead. She wants to use the time generating awareness and raising funds for cutting edge blood cancer research. Which is why she hosted an evening for more more than 450 guests despite being in the middle of her radiation treatment!
Her haematologist Miles Prince spoke about the need to fund cutting edge research. He quoted Noble prize winner Albert Einstein. Einstein believed that only way to alter time was through speed and mass however Miles argued that the third way to alter time is through research. Through research, we are able to buy time to alter blood cancer patients’ lives, to find new treatments, to find cures, to fund trials. The incredible generosity of the Deague family and their guests will change the world and buy time for many future Australian blood cancer patients.
“What happened to me can happen to anyone, no one is immune to blood cancer.”
Funds raised on the evening were matched by the Epworth Medical Foundation and will go directly towards research into circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA). Read more about ctDNA here.