Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Cancer scare sparks Jan into action

A Shepparton cancer survivor is using her experience to raise funds and awareness through Daffodil Day.

JENNA BISHOP August 19, 2014 4:49am

Important cause: Sam Renato and Jan James are preparing for this year’s Daffodil Day fundraiser.


A shock cancer diagnosis sent Shepparton’s Jan James on a scary path.

‘‘You almost think it’s a death sentence because so many people die from it,’’ she said.

Now she is hoping to help raise funds and awareness through Daffodil Day.

Mrs James was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago when she was 53.

‘‘I’d been having regular breast screens every two years, but 12 months after the last one, I discovered two lumps in my right breast,’’ she said.

Several tests later, the cancer was confirmed.

‘‘I was fortunate I found it 12 months after, rather that waiting for the next two-yearly scan,’’ she said.

‘‘My doctor said it was fairly aggressive, so it was lucky I found it.

‘‘They said if I’d waited, it could have travelled to my lymph nodes.’’

This Friday, the retired school teacher will be out and about selling daffodils in Shepparton to raise money for cancer research.

Mrs James said it was important to support fundraising initiatives such as Daffodil Day.

‘‘The money that is raised all goes towards prevention and early detection of cancer and for support workers for those affect by cancer,’’ she said.

‘‘Everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer ... it affects all families.’’

Last year in Shepparton, more than $11600 was raised on Daffodil Day to support cancer research.

Mrs James’ sister was also diagnosed with cancer 11 years ago, and they have passed the five-year all-clear mark.

‘‘We’re never cured though, it’s always in your mind,’’ Mrs James said.

‘‘All the support from family and friends helps you realise it’s just a journey you have to go on.’’

Florist Sam Renato said it would be the 28th year he had supported the cause.

‘‘The Cancer Council Shepparton committee approached me one year to buy some daffodils. When they told me what it was for, I said ‘don’t worry about buying them, I’m going to give them to you’,’’ he said.

This year the day has grown so big, Mr Renato will supply more than 9000 flowers for more than 30 volunteers to sell in Shepparton and Mooroopna.

Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE, Shepparton Access, Undera Girl Guides and the Rotary Club of Shepparton also support the day.

Bunches of daffodils will be available on Friday for $3 from Fairley’s IGA, Goulburn Valley Health, Renato’s Florists, SPC Ardmona Factory Sales, Tirana City Walk, Shepparton Marketplace, Riverside Plaza, Mooroopna Woolworths and Maude St Mall.

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