Leukaemia survivor Celeste O'Brien has capped off a stellar week after completing the Tough Mudder obstacle course and celebrating her first wedding anniversary.SOPHIE MALCOLM January 22, 2013 4:50am
Leukaemia survivor Celeste O’Brien celebrated her first wedding anniversary and then completed Tough Mudder.
The past week has been a good one for Celeste O’Brien.
Celeste, 29, completed the Tough Mudder obstacle course at the weekend and on January 14 celebrated her first wedding anniversary.
She said completing Tough Mudder would have seemed almost impossible three months ago.
The date of her wedding anniversary also marked three years since she received a life-saving stem cell transplant.
In January 2009, Celeste noticed she had cold and flu-like symptoms, was exhausted and had a rash on her hands.
A visit to the doctor and a series of tests revealed she had acute myeloid leukaemia, a form of cancer that starts inside the bone marrow.
She said doctors labelled her condition as ‘‘catastrophic’’.
After four months of treatment at Melbourne’s The Alfred hospital, she returned home to Shepparton and to work. She relapsed in October that year, triggering a bout of depression and another round of treatment.
Her twin brother Christopher had been nominated as a match for a stem cell transplant (commonly known as a bone marrow transplant), which was scheduled for January 2010.
‘‘I’m a very positive person anyway, so when I relapsed, something turned, something changed,’’ Celeste said. ‘‘My brother Chris is my best mate .
The transplant worked and after a year of hospitalisation and continuing treatments, she began to work towards her goals.
Completing Tough Mudder was just one of those.
‘‘I’m the only person known to have had a stem cell transplant .
‘‘I was as sick as it gets.’’
She says the support of those close to her and her trainer Troy Tremellen was vital in preparing her for the challenge.
‘‘I’m probably in a better physical shape now than when I got sick,’’ she said.
Another goal was to help others.
She volunteers at the Leukaemia Foundation and The Alfred hospital.
Celeste also has her own Facebook support group, Survivorship — The New Normal, for cancer survivors and their families and friends.
‘‘I’m an extremely positive person and I like to encourage people .
‘‘I think this is why I got sick, this was what I was meant to do with my life .
‘‘With just support and encouragement you can do whatever you want.’’
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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