Elizabeth Lefevre - Westfield Local Heroes 2020
Brave advocate and supporter
Young Women's Cancer Support Group - ACT & Surrounding Region
Determined. Committed. Energetic.
Three years ago, Elizabeth Lefevre was on maternity leave with four-month-old twins and was caring for her three-year-old. In her early 30s, she was excited about going back to work, where she had been promoted to a managerial position.
A breast cancer diagnosis turned Elizabeth's world upside-down.
"Before I knew it, major surgery had been booked that, unknown to me, was just the start of an epic breast cancer vendetta to come."
Elizabeth soon discovered a gap in support for younger women with cancer and started an online group that grew into The Young Women's Cancer Support Group – ACT & Surrounding Region.
The group gives women under 50 a safe place to ask questions, vent, socialise and support each other. This complements the work of local organisations like Bosom Buddies ACT, which has provided invaluable support.
Issues for younger women include family responsibilities, career, sexuality and self-esteem.
Members raise awareness about challenges, stand up to make a difference and help to ensure people are supported on their cancer journey.
"If you're unable to be proactive, extremely vigilant and advocate your rights, things get missed and can fall through the cracks of the system – which I experienced personally on multiple occasions," Elizabeth says.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Young Women's Cancer Support Group will use its grant to register as a non-profit and fund networking events and information sessions.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here