Riding the 'Waves of Courage'
In 2015, Belle was diagnosed with ovarian germ cell cancer. There was a 10kg tumour on her ovary.
"Being so young, I didn’t really understand what was happening to me and my diagnosis now feels like a blur. "
Belle went through countless tests, scans and hospital visits, along with four rounds of chemo to shrink the tumour. When a CT scan showed that the tumour had only shrunk to 8kg, the doctors decided it was time to remove it.
In August that year, Belle underwent a four-hour surgical procedure to remove her tumour – and her left ovary.
Life after cancer...
6 weeks after the surgery, Belle was given the all-clear and her life slowly started returning to normal.
Belle joined Canteen in 2016 and has since then has taken part in recreation days and camps with other young people affected by cancer.
"Some of my fondest memories are from Canteen's programs - I’m so thankful I’ve been able to do all of these amazing things and meet so many wonderful people because of the support they've given me."
Belle is now part of Canteen's leadership program, which aims to provide young people with opportunities to develop skills and connections that will benefit their long term future while also contributing to the direction of the organisation.
"Leadership has helped me to embrace and speak about my cancer journey because of meeting other young people who understand and have been or are still going through a similar experience."
Waves of Courage bandanna
Belle is National Bandanna Day’s youth ambassador. Belle has designed her own bandanna called ‘Waves of Courage’ to represent both her cancer journey and the things that bring joy to her life.
“I designed my bandanna ‘Waves of Courage’ to represent the things I love – like the ocean and summer days – but also my cancer journey. The rainbow and the healing hands are a homage to everyone at Canteen who has supported me along the way.”
Belle's bandanna is avaliable to purchase here.