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.’’
Leukaemia diagnosis for Shepparton boy Travis Lamont, 17, hits his family hard.
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club senior footballer Jeremy O’Brien celebrated his 200th senior Ovens and Murray Football Netball League game against the Wodonga Bulldogs on Saturday.
The trip to Deakin Reserve pitted the fourth-placed Bulldogs up against sixth-placed Demons in a vital match to consolidate a finals berth.
Wemba Wemba, Ngandjon-jji and Yorta Yorta man Clayton Murray-Mitchell is planning a two-day festival in Moama featuring Archie Roach and Kevin Kropinyeri.
Sergeant Dale Simm of Rochester police is warning the public to be wary of phone calls offering all sorts of great prizes.
100 days at Tongala Primary.
Mark Grainger cannot believe his luck after suffering a heart attack on the day a new drug was approved to be administered by paramedics.
A man who attempted, but failed miserebly, to rob the Tocumwal Pie Shed is still on the run from police.
District residents judge the top releases from the Heathcote wine region during the second annual Heathcote Wine Show on the weekend.
Cobram Barooga Cycling Club president takes his talents on teh world stage for masters competition.
A top-three finish is on the cards for the Deni Rovers after they knocked off Jerilderie on Saturday.
Innovative irrigators are being encouraged to apply for a 2014 Rural Water Award and the chance to win a $2000 cash prize.
Three Benalla residents are speaking up to bring the issue of youth homelessness into the spotlight.
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