Belinda Bromilow, who plays quirky hospital receptionist Betty on Doctor Doctor, knows the challenges that come with being a mum with cancer after she was diagnosed with bowel cancer when her son was just 10 weeks old.
“I had a bowel resection and illiostomy bag for three months while I healed from surgery. Fortunately the cancer hadn’t spread to my lymph nodes, so I required no further treatment however facing such serious surgeries and my own mortality was an enormous challenge with a newborn,” Belinda said.
“It occurred to me more than once during this time how incredibly lucky and blessed I was to have the support of family and friends, and how infinitely harder my journey through would have been without it.”
To her show support for mums in a similar situation, Belinda has donated the bespoke tourmaline, red spinel and diamond earrings which she wore to last month’s Oscars to Australian charity, Mummy’s Wish.
The earrings, worth almost $9000, were designed by Belinda’s friend and jewellery designer, Nicole Winkler.
The women met while studying acting at the WA Academy of Performing Arts, and Nicole who lost both her parents to cancer when she was young, was diagnosed with breast cancer in late 2017. Her children were just three and six years old.
“I underwent a reconstructive mastectomy, six months of chemo and five weeks of radiation and Mummy’s Wish were a great support during my treatment,” Nicole said.
“They were a reassuring and comforting presence on a psychological level and provided us with practical help of three months of cleaning during treatment. They also sent two comfort bears with voice recorders inside that my kids still love and hug to this day.”
“Positively parenting small children during cancer treatment has to be one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life and it’s great to know that we will be helping to support other mothers during such a difficult time,” Nicole said.
“I discussed with Belinda the idea of donating her bespoke earrings to Mummy’s Wish after the Academy Awards and we both agreed that they were a perfect charity given both of our backgrounds of cancer treatment and motherhood,” Nicole said.
For Belinda, the decision to donate was easy.
“I thought of single parents, those under financial pressure, people without a community to rally around them. Mummy’s Wish is that support for many out there who are dealing with cancer and it is an absolute honour and joy to help them in this small way,” she said.
Mummy’s Wish CEO Emma Bryant said, “When you’re living with cancer, it can be difficult to cope with a wide range of emotions, including fear, anger and sadness and Mums can also find it hard to carry out everyday tasks such as food shopping or cleaning their house.”
“We are so grateful to Belinda and Nicole for this wonderful gesture; the money raised through their auction will enable us to provide practical support to more women to help them manage the distressing impact her illness has on their families.”
Bromilow’s one-of-a-kind 18-carat white gold, tourmaline, red spinel and diamond studded Oscar earrings, valued at $8950, will be auctioned via eBay to coincide with this year’s Big Mumma’s Italian Feast fundraiser on 4 April.
To place your bid, visit https://www.32auctions.com/mummyswish
ABOUT MUMMY’S WISH
Every day around Australia, 13 families have their lives turned upside down when mum is diagnosed with cancer. Mummy’s Wish support these mums and their young families by providing practical, non-means tested support whilst mum is receiving treatment or palliative care for cancer.
The work that we do allows mums undergoing treatment to cope with their illness and meet the physical and emotional needs of a young family – because a mum with cancer is still a mum. We connect with the mums and are there to offer support as inevitable challenges arise during her full treatment journey.
Our wish is that there will one day be a cure for cancer – but until then, we are here to help.
She Society is a site for the women of Australia to share our stories, our experiences, shared learnings and opportunities to connect.