TRUE FRIENDS: Breast cancer survivor Glenys Webster, left, with her dear friend and business partner Jo Steele.

 

Since the Franklin Silver Lining Trust’s inception in 2008, Glenys Webster has been an unwavering supporter of the trust and its work easing the suffering of those in our community facing adversity. It never occurred to her once during her five years associatedwith the trust that she would one day be a recipient of its valued services.

 

But that all changed in February last year, when Glenys, who co-owns Graceys in Pukekohewith best friend Jo Steele, was diagnosed with breast cancer. A routine mammogram thatmonth had detected a slight shadow on her breast and a biopsy was ordered. But Glenys, then 52, wasn’t too worried. ‘‘I was convinced there was nothing wrong, I’d had manyroutine mammograms before and they were all clear. To be honest it didn’t concern me much at all. This kind of thing – getting sick – doesn’t happen to me.’’

 

A week after the biopsy, the results were in. Despite being confident that she’d be OK she took a support person with her – Jo – to hear the doctor’s diagnosis. The news was shattering. Glenys, a healthy and fit middleage woman with a robust medical history, had breast cancer. She was shocked – in disbelief. ‘‘Let’s just say the delivery of the diagnosis that day didn’t go down that well at all,’’ Glenys recalls. ‘‘It was awful, I was reeling. Thank goodness Jo was there to take over and take it all in for me.’’

 

Surgery was advised for early March. A post-surgery autopsy revealed the cancer was aggressive and Glenys was prescribed chemotherapy then radiotherapy. It was a tough time for Glenys, both physically and mentally. But she got through it, and she credits that to family and friends, in particular, daughter Effie, who left her job in Dunedin to be with her,and Jo, ‘‘her rock’’. ‘‘She really stepped up. I couldn’t have done this without the support of Jo – and my group of friends.’’

 

Glenys is now cancer-free, though she still suffers fatigue and body aches. Now she’s feelingbetter, she’s looking forward to her special break away – courtesy of the Franklin Silver Lining Trust. Glenys is off to Wanaka with four friends, Jo, of course, top of the guest list. She is also re-evaluating her future. Her illness has forced a rethink of what’s important in life,and with Jo’s personal circumstances changing too, the pair are selling Graceys.

 

Story by JULIE KAIO

Silver lining of tough fight against cancer

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