Robyn Vella was diagnosed with breast cancer on the week of her 50th birthday.
The Wedderburn resident said she spent the next 12 months going through a mastectomy, rigorous chemotherapy and radiation. While she is now back in good health, Mrs Vella said her story should be one of caution.
She first noticed the lump in her left breast back in 2014. A number of mammograms cleared her of cancer, but it wasn't until a biopsy in early 2018 that her diagnosis was confirmed.
"In hindsight, I should have asked for a biopsy straight away," Mrs Vella said. "What I say to people now - you need to take your health into your own hands.
"If you think something is not right, you need to make sure and follow through with it."
Echuca resident Anne Vernon has a similar story. She was first diagnosed with what she called a "nasty and aggressive cancer" when she was 47 years old.
"I thought I found a lump," she said. "I had found lumps 20 years earlier and they were benign so I thought this one would be too.
"I let it go for a few months. Then I went for a mammogram and they said I needed to go to the doctor immediately. It turned into a roller coaster from there."
Mrs Vernon spent the next year in and out of hospital. The cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, so they were removed. She also went through six months of intense chemotherapy and four months of radiation.
Mrs Vernon said she sought help during her treatment from the McGrath Foundation's Breast Care Nurses.
"They didn't only support me, they supported my whole family," she said. "They just had an answer for everything - they're the experts.
"When you're not sure what's going on, they're really there to emotionally support you."
Mrs Vernon - who has been in remission for nine years - said the people of Echuca were giving back to the McGrath Foundation this October.
The town is aiming to raise $20,000 through a special raffle and gala night at the Echuca Workers' Club this Friday.
"There will be a room full of people showing their support by wearing pink on the night," Mrs Vernon said. "All of the town has thrown their support behind the cause."
There will also be a series of events in Wedderburn, Inglewood and Bridgewater from October 23 - 25 in support of the McGrath Foundation.
There will be raffles at the Inglewood Bowls Club and Wedderburn's 24 Karat Cafe. The Wedderburn newsagency is also selling special pink flowers and baked goods for the cause.
Inglewood and Districts Health Service's Cindy Gould said shops in the towns have also donned pink decorations to raise awareness for breast cancer.
"We thought the visual, pink display along the Calder would be a really great way to remind people to do self-examinations," Ms Gould said.
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