My Story: Nilla Spark

20 Jun My Story: Nilla Spark

Nilla is vibrant and kind-hearted; however, like many of us, she was content with how life was. That was until her diagnosis; an experience she attributes to changing her life… 

Nilla and family

On the 19th October 2004, I heard the words that I never wanted or thought I would ever hear “Nilla, you have Breast Cancer”.

My Breast Cancer diagnosis should have and could have stopped me from doing, being, and achieving. However, the journey has been life changing and with the help of John my husband, family, and friends, I am proud to say that I am a twelve plus year thriver.  

I knew I had to face my Breast Cancer challenge head on and do whatever it took to stay alive.

I was introduced to Solaris Cancer Care when undergoing my Radiotherapy treatment at Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital in 2005. At the time, I was so grateful for Solaris, as I had left my life and husband in Albany to face my treatments alone.  

When you feel isolated, scared, alone and unsure of your future it is invaluable to know that, you have people who are full of understanding and compassion by your side, this gives you hope and a feeling of being wanted and loved. 

These volunteers are ‘selfless’ giving of their time to help with the emotional and physical effects of cancer.

Feeling very blessed to have survived and thrived, I knew I had to take action to improve my life and to get me to where I am today.

My breast cancer diagnosis showed me how much of life I took for granted. For me, this alarm bell woke me up.

I was on a treadmill doing the same thing day in and day out…THEN the wake-up call to understand and know that I had an amazing life, doing what I loved to do and I had taken it for granted…

In 2006 after my diagnosis and treatment, I embarked on a Personal Development crusade to improve my body, mind, and my spirit. As a benefit of this journey, I learnt to understand my body and my mind realising that with the right tools we can support ourselves. One of the ways I have discovered was through travel. This is a huge passion of mine (along with food). 

Now I truly understand the importance of doing what I love, which to me is travelling and helping others to have life-changing travel experiences.

Breast Cancer for me was a gift to make me wake up to what is possible…

Because of this life changing experience, John, myself, and the team at Travel with Purpose are working together to help local charities in our community, such as Solaris Cancer Care.

You can support Nilla by donating to her Dry July Challenge today:  https://www.dryjuly.com/users/nilla-spark