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The Rock-itt : June 2011
I first met Julie Hayes in 1975 as the attractive, slightly older sister of a smashing looking 21 year old girl named Vicki Hayes, who I had met at a dance in the city one night and lucky enough to marry, which made Julie Hayes my sister in-law. My first recollections of Julie was that of a strong willed young woman who was always ready to speak her mind and unlike myself was virtually squeaky clean. She played sport, didn’t smoke, hardly ever imbibed in the amber liquid and was as full of zest, vitality and energy as a healthy young woman of her age could possibly be. Julie married the man of her dreams, Edward Knox becoming Mrs Julie Knox not that long after Vicki and I were married. Julie and Ed were married previously to other partners when they were quite young and both had two children each from the earlier marriages which gave them a readymade family of six when they tied the knot so to speak. Soon there was another little Knox on the way, a son, John, bumping the number up to seven in the Knox household. It was apparent that Julie and Ed Knox had finally found the perfect match in their lives, and together they became one big happy family. The offspring’s, Kim and Rachel from Julie’s side, and Sally and Merran from Ed’s side, were almost the same age and these four girls from the two previous marriages blended in perfectly together. They seemed to all enjoy doing the same things, especially their love for the outdoors. Julie and Ed bought a caravan and the family would take off whenever they could, whether it was weekends or annual holidays, the Knox family loved getting out there with nature and were the Knox’s version of the Leyland Brothers. As the years progressed and the children grew into adulthood and married, it wasn’t too long before Julie and Ed became proud grandparents over and over and over again. Ed eventually retired from work and it looked as though the Knox clan were in for a wonderful life together in the latter years, as it was in the earlier times. But sometimes things come into our lives that even upset the most well laid plans. On 9 November, 2009, Julie had found a lump in her right breast and she knew intuitively that it was cancer. Life for her then changed forever because after a mammogram, an ultrasound and a biopsy, the lump was found to be malignant. Julie, Ed and the whole family were devastated by the news. It seemed so unfair! When it comes to a disease like cancer, it didn’t seem to count that this woman had followed all of the rules and led a healthy lifestyle. It showed no selection criteria, it showed no pity or compassion, it was merciless with whom it chose to cast its evil shadow. Now the Knox family were to feel the full force of its scourge upon Julie. Julie was now about to take on the biggest fight of her life, a fight against mountainous and overwhelming odds that had been levelled against her. Join us in the next issue of The Rock-itt for ‘Julie’ s Story’. My Fight with Breast Cancer A serialised true account of one woman’s struggle to beat the odds Introduction by Pete Johnson