Gemma Boucher

My Challenge

Total Steps:

  • 01 Aug
  • 02 Aug
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  • 06 Aug
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  • 09 Aug
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  • 12 Aug
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  • 22 Aug
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  • 24 Aug
  • 25 Aug
  • 26 Aug
  • 27 Aug
  • 28 Aug
  • 29 Aug
  • 30 Aug
  • 31 Aug

Not Completed

My Activity Tracking

376,530
Steps

My target 310000 Steps

I'm Stepping Up To Breast Cancer

Well, I can't just have my friends walk and run without me! Challenge accepted!

This August, the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is challenging all Australians to come together to Step Up to Breast Cancer.

I've stepped up to the challenge to complete 10,000 steps every day throughout the month and raise money for vital breast cancer research.

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia. This year 20,825 Australians will be diagnosed. That is why I have stepped up to the challenge to help fund the future of research and change these stats.

Please donate to my page and you’ll be helping the National Breast Cancer Foundation take one step closer to reaching their goal of Zero Deaths From Breast Cancer by 2030.

YOU can make a difference. Let me know if you want to Step Up to Breast Cancer with me!

My Badges

Blogger Badge

Made a blog post

Looking good

Upload a profile pic

Kickstart

Donated towards your goal

Broadcaster

Shared your page

Halfway

Raised 50% of fundraising target

Bullseye Badge

Hit fundraising target

Step Up Superstar

Halfway to step target

Super Stepper

Reached step target

1k wonder

Raised $1000

Superstar Badge

Increased fundraising target

Super Charge Friday’s

Step Up 1

Step Up 2

Step Up 3

Step Up 4

Step Up 4/4

My Updates

Why we are stepping up to breast cancer - interview

Thursday 26th Aug

My story (so far)

Saturday 24th Jul
My story begins a while back, when I was 19 and in London on a gap year holiday. I found a lump in my breast and went to the hospital, concerned it was something bad as I had always had a strange feeling I might get breast cancer one day. I remember seeing the concern on the young doctor's face as he examined me, then his relief when he told me it was just a blocked milk duct and just to keep an eye on things.

Skip forward many years and I am 32, breast feeding my six month old daughter. She was loving all of the milk that flowed from my left breast, but every time she would go to my right she would scream. I went and got it checked out - it was fine, but I had some benign cysts, so again they said to keep an eye on things and get regular checks.

About two years later, I had a sore lump on my right breast. I squeezed it and pus came out - sorry that's gross but it did. I went to my GP and by then, that lump had gone but she said I should go to a specialist just to be safe. This is where the roller coaster began. 

Caroline Baker (whom I adore) was my specialist and she said 'there's a lot going on here'. They found some lumps in the left breast (the opposite to where I had found the sore lump earlier). I had a biopsy, and thank goodness they came back as benign. This was Christmas 2018. She said I needed to have six-monthly checks, so this was booked in for mid-2019. 

In mid-2019 I'd started a new, exciting job that I loved. It was my first day and my appointment was set for then, so I postponed it another month. Then, when I had that appointment, they found more. It took a little while to diagnose but it turned out I had DCIS - a pre-cancer on my left breast. It was wide spread so I had to have a mastectomy. This happened on 10 September 2019, including a breast reconstruction with an implant. While they do the mastectomy, they also take a sentinel node from the armpit and they test that and the breast tissue to make sure you don't have cancer. It's a standard thing and I thought nothing of it.

17 September, 2019: I went in for a follow up a week after surgery. It was a beautiful sunny day and I'd spent the morning tidying my wardrobe, feeling great that I was getting my movement back and proud to tell Caroline how well I was doing. When I saw Caroline as we entered the hospital I knew something was wrong. Pathology results had shown that I also had invasive breast cancer, and it was in the breast and the sentinel node.

I then had to go and have a bunch of tests. I had bone and CT scans that thankfully said it hadn't spread. We had been planning a second child too, so we went and made embryos - 14 of them!

I had six months of chemo and Zoladex injections from October 2019 to March 2020. I continued to work through this and I had an amazing boss and team to support me. Work was a huge part of what got me through it all - I love having a purpose and I love my job so working full time was a huge part of my recovery.

Another part that helped was scalp cooling - keeping most of my hair made me not feel or look like a 'cancer patient' (it just thinned out a bit and then grew back curly and thick later). Some people I worked with had no idea about any of it!

I finished chemo just in time for COVID and lockdowns! I was happy when they said I wouldn't need radiation. After this, they said I'm basically cured but had to stay on Tamoxifen for two years before we could try for that baby we want.

After this I had a regular scan in September 2020, which found some lumps. They turned out to be ok - just a hormonal response from the Zoladex.

Then, my next scan was for May 2021. I'd just had a cold and almost changed it. I went in and had the ultrasound and did not expect they would find anything, but they found my lymph nodes in my left arm were swollen. I figured it was from my cold.

I had a biopsy and got a call a week later to say that the appointment would be Telehealth - I took this as a good sign that the news was good. Unfortunately it just was because they didn't get a proper sample. So back I went for another biopsy. Then after waiting another week (so by now it had been four weeks), the biopsy confirmed cancer in two nodes - one being HER2 positive and the other ER positive.

The PET scan, MRI and follow up biopsies then found it has spread to my sacrum bone. This didn't show up on the CT scan but did on the PET and MRI. I didn't have much pain leading up to this but I run and do weights so any pain I thought was just wear and tear! This was a shock as I'm now told my cancer is no longer the 'curable' kind - I just have to keep it at bay forever. 

So now I'm back to chemo for four months and also some new targeted therapy for the next 12 months which I am hopeful will work its magic. I might have surgery to remove the nodes and hopefully they can target the sacrum too.

I also will have to stay post-menopausal forever, so if we want a child we will need to find a surrogate - thank goodness for the 14 healthy embryos. 

For some reason I feel like I will be ok.

This is why we need the amazing clever scientists to keep up with these medical breakthroughs so that one day I, and others, can say we are cancer free! And why challenges like Step Up are so important in raising funds for these clever scientists to do their thing.

I am so lucky to have so many loving friends that are like family, amazing supportive colleagues and the best family - including my incredible husband and daughter - to get me through all this. I am so grateful, and in return I will fight to stick around in this world as long as I possibly can (hopefully till I'm 100. I'm no royalist but I want that letter from the king or queen.)

Thank you to my Sponsors

$500

Kim Jordan

Hey Gem, you have amazing friends. I know the team's efforts will boost your own amazing determination and optimism! All the best gorgeous! xx

$260

Niamh

Thinking of Gem, glad you get to go home and enjoy the sunshine xx

$260

Gavin Muir

🍻♥️

$260

Gemma Boucher

What a wonderful group of friends I have - love you so much! I would love to join you on some walks and runs while you're at it too.

$250

West Gate Tunnel C&e Team

Hi Gem, your colleagues and friends from West Gate Tunnel C&E team want to say you’re amazing. We send a power of strength your way. Liz, Robyn, Daisy, Claire and Bron. 🤗😘

$208

Paddy O’sullivan

Gemma, such a dynamic young lady, with you all the way as you take on your next challenge. All the very best. Paddy

$208

Kirby & Steve

You’ve got this Gemma x

$208

Jen F

If you could be cured by the amount of friends who love you then this would be done tomorrow. You’re an amazing person Gem, sending you, Simon and Chloe all my love. Can’t stop thinking about you x

$208

Erin

Go Gemma!! Love you xx

$200

Louisa Rendina

Gem, you are an absolute star. Sending you, your friends and family so much love, strength and positivity. Thanks for continuing to share your story and help others along the way. Louisa 😘

$156

Georgia Phillips

Wow - you are amazing and so strong. Sending you love, hope and 'get fucked cancer' wishes. We're all with you.

$156

Jacqui M

You're a star, Gem! Sending lots of love and support x

$156

Amy Hubbard

Thinking of you Gemma! X

$104

Anonymous

$104

Jennifer Howard

Let’s beat this fucker Gem. We all love you and are sending every healing vibe we have your way xx

$104

Sandra Barker

Keep up the amazing work Gem! 👏 💖

$104

Anita Orr

Such an amazing person and outlook, you’ve got this x

$104

Emily Abrahams

$104

Linda Mercer

May the sun shine on you Gemma and you get stronger every day and beat this disease! Love from us all xx

$104

Jacqueline Cormack

$104

Sarah Chapman

What an amazing journey you’re on Gemma - keep fighting, we’re all behind you x

$104

Nic Holland

Go team - great cause!

$104

Sheila Maidment

Dear Gemma, sending much love and positive energy your way. Best, Sheila

$104

Lyndal

Thinking of you Gemma xxx

$104

Clinton Kenna

Wishing you all the best Gemma. Your positive approach is really inspirational!

$104

Anonymous

Wishing you the very best Gemma

$104

Lauren Jordan

Gem, you are a warrior. Sending you all the love and strength x

$104

Shanna Evans

You are amazing Gem! Lots of love to you xx

$104

Kerilyn Wyatt

You got this. So glad i get to work with you again. xx

$104

Sandra Jerkovic

Go Gemma!

$104

Molly Campbell

You’ve got this Gemma! You are incredibly strong and positive and I have no doubt you’ll smash this. Thank you for your never ending kindness and positivity in the face of this - I’m so lucky to have met you at NELP! Xx

$104

Lari Garvin

Good on you. You will nail this. Lots of love to you darls xxx

$104

Katie Watt

What a wonderful group of friends you have Gemma! Sending you lots of strength, love and support. Throw in some hugs too! Xx

$104

Nicole Russo

Such a big fan of you Gemma- superwoman ! Go team !!!

$104

Jane Wharton

Go Gemma! Sending you tonnes of positive and healing vibes x

$104

Rosie, Ryan And Paddy Mcquinn

We love you Gemmie. Well done to you and your NBCF team on raising so much! 💜

$104

Kirsty

So sorry to hear this news Gemma, but I’m so glad to accidentally tagged me in a post so I would see this. Wishing you and your family all the luck in the world xx

$104

Leith Marshall

You’re a superstar, Gem! Plus you’ve got everyone cheering you on xo

$104

Bec Millard

Sending loads of love your way wonderful Gem. So many people are behind you. xx

$100

Jess

With you Gem ❤️

$100

Jess W

Go Gem! You got this xx

$100

Libby Mitchell

I have 100% faith that you will win this and every round Gemma. Libby xx

$100

Holly And Anthony Havers

$100

Tessa Hillgrove

Wishing you a speedy recovery Gemma xo

$100

Tim And Rissy

Keep up the great stepping! Love you Gem xxx

$85

Andrea Appleby

Gemma you are such an inspiration, sending my love to you!

$83.20

Brett L

Thinking of you Gem. You're a warrior and I just know you're gonna smash it.

$75

Ash Chand

Wishing you all the best

$60

Tim Isaacs

You've got this Gemma!!!!

$52

Franca De Luca

Go Team! For Gem and all the beautiful women touched by breast cancer. Xx

$52

Anonymous

$52

Jess Nichol

Love your work Gen! Xxx

$52

Matthew Borg

$52

Mike Moyes

$52

Anonymous

$52

Vic Lorena

Bless you Gemma, your family and friends. Beat this thing, you can do it. Keep being awesome!!

$52

Melissa Anderson

$52

Dominic Luddy

Go Gem - you've got this 😊

$52

Caroline Rebaque

You got this, you beautiful thing. Big love Gem xox

$52

Janette Sato

Gem, you’re a warrior darling. You’ve got this. Sending you the biggest virtual hug. Xoxo

$52

Liam Crowley

You are strong and courageous. I know you'll win this fight xo

$52

Rochelle Patterson

Well done Gemma! You are an inspiration to all of us women!

$52

Kaye Tuddenham

You go Girl! cheers Kaye xo

$52

Tony Tran

Stay Strong Gem 💪🏽

$52

Noel Treacy

You’re showing amazing strength to share what you’re going through and using it to help others Gemma!

$52

Mikhaila Bellinger

Sending lots of love Gemma stay strong xxx

$52

Phoebe Juskevics

$52

Rebecka Gunnarsson

I am so sorry to hear Gemma, wishing you all the best. Lots of love xx

$52

Tara Buckley

Wishing you all the best Gemma x

$52

Yvonne Sweeny

Simon what an inspiration your Gemma is to you and Chloe- thank you for posting on Linked to share her cause and fight, I couldn’t watch the full Video without crying! Hope this small contribution helps. Stay Strong Gemma! Ive never met you , but worked with Simon very briefly with Chloe was born. Much Love going your way!!

$52

Hayley Richardson

xo

$52

Duncan Langdon

$52

Martin Coyle

Good luck Gemma- great you are stepping it out every day

$52

Sarah Gardner

Sending all the best wishes Gemma. You’re an amazing woman. Stay strong xx

$52

Jen Bygrave

Top cause and a top person. You can do it, Gemma.

$52

Natalie Sandic

You’re a star Gemma! Sending you lots of love xx

$52

Allison Harding

What a rough time you've had Gemma. You're a star and I'm thinking of you xxx

$52

Megan Taylor

Wishing you all the best Gemma xx

$52

Michael Crossman

So sorry to hear you have a battle Gem but I know you can win and get through this. Sending you the very best wishes

$52

Kristy & Luke

Thinking of you and sending love & positive vibes your way xxx

$52

Sar

You are a superwoman Gem!! You’ve got this! #fkcancer

$52

Carrie D

Cheering you on from Syd, Gem. You’ve got this. xx

$52

Alisa & Tim Christensen

Sending love and healing light to you beautiful girl. x

$52

Alicia Heath

Good luck on your journey! x

$52

Andrew Hocking

Wishing you all the best with the treatment Gem and a full recovery. Best wishes Andrew

$52

Chris Soderstrom

Go Gem! :)

$52

Merita Tabain

Walk with love.

$52

Chloe

What an inspiration you are Gem! Sending big love and positive vibes xx

$52

Anne Taylor

Dear Gemma, so sorry to hear you're needing to be back in treatment mode again. Send love and positive thoughts to you, your family and your friends. Get well quickly❤️😘

$52

Leeanne Sanderson

All the best Gemma. Your courage and strength is an inspiration.

$52

Donna Mongan

As long as we're breathing ... keep your chin up Gemma sweetie.

$52

Marian Van Meurs

Best wishes Gemma from Ron and Maz van Meurs

$52

Trent Woodberry

Such a great cause

$52

Liz Iser

$52

Meg Bird

Gemma, wishing you much courage and love to face this next stage of your journey. X

$50

Mischelle Hodge

In honor of my grandmother Nellie Webb and my cousin Karen Gunter who we lost to breast cancer not so long ago.

$50

Amy Gason

Big hugs Gem - sending strength and live your way.

$50

Jeanette Daly

Gemma you are truly inspirational and brave 💕

$50

Max

Go Gem and go scientists! I look forward to celebrating your 100th 🌈

$50

Pete Glenane

$50

Michelle Templeton

You got this Gem! Mx

$50

Annie Xu

$41.60

Jonathan Pickering

$41.60

Lisa Nicholls

Go Gem! You're such a strong and positive soul, sending you all my good vibes and love! Lisa

$41.60

Anonymous

$41.60

Sahalie Wardrop

$41.60

Michelle Fagan

Amazing work Gem!

$41.60

Nicole Haddow

You’re a star. You’ve got this

$41.60

Jo Catto

Sending all my love and best wishes to you and your family as you beat this Gemma x

$41.60

Igor Jugovic

Step up to the challenge Gemma. I admire your enthusiasm and positivity

$40

Jackson Wood

$31.20

Sam Nixon

$30

Anna Synan

Gemma, I am so impressed by you. I really look forward to having you back at work and spending more time together. I hope all continues to go well and that you are feeling okay. If you ever need anything please let me know, even if it is a fun drawing for your daughter :)

$26

Elly Mitchell

You’re amazing!! So proud of you xx

$26

Kate C

Your amazing attitude, positivity and sheer determination will protect you on this journey, you fearless warrior woman. You really have got this. Love and thoughts to you and your beautiful family xxx

$26

Caitlin Shinnick

Thanks for sharing your story Gemma. Sending you all my love and strength to beat this thing <3

$26

Olivia Whitaker

Go Gem xx

$20.80

Lachlan Macready

Great job Gemma!

$20.80

Jessica Eden

Stay strong Gemma.

$20.80

Lina Marinelli

Gem, you’re amazing! Such an inspiration and still one of my favourite managers after all these years! Keep on stepping!

$20.80

Anonymous

$1.04

Anonymous