Tenacious Women


Meet Wilma, Keryn and Teresa - three ‘Tenacious Women’ who have all boldly and bravely faced a diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer. This form of breast cancer presents without any of the three hormone receptors commonly found on breast cancer cells – the oestrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptors. Around 15% of breast cancers are triple-negative and this sub-type is more likely to affect younger women. Depending on the stage of its diagnosis, triple-negative breast cancer can be particularly aggressive, and more likely to recur than other subtypes of breast cancer.1


After being diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer at 39, mother of two Wilma La Greca underwent genetic testing and found that she carried the BRCA2 gene – a genetic mutation that had placed her at higher risk of cancer. Further tests revealed she had inherited the mutation from her father’s side of the family.  After having a double mastectomy and having her ovaries removed, Wilma decided life was indeed short. Her breast cancer journey inspired journeys of a different kind, with adventures to Italy, Turkey, Greece, Croatia and South America. There’s more travel on Wilma’s bucket list and to other women diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer she says simply, “Never stop hoping. Have faith. Cancer is just another illness you can get, like many others.”


45 year old Keryn Barnett never really knew what she wanted to do with her life in terms of a career. While always employed, she was missing what she thought was her true calling. It was only after being diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in late 2014 and her subsequent treatment, that the answer finally dawned. She is now in her second year of a four-year university course, training to become a radiation therapist. She will soon be helping other cancer patients “and this time it will be them getting zapped, not me!”


Teresa Hammer was 48 years old, recently re-married and “the happiest I had ever been” when she was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer almost three years ago. Despite her devastating diagnosis, she has tried to remain positive. She is now in remission and continues to work, as well as babysit her 8 month-old grandson, Jed. She dreams of travelling “and more grandchildren!”

Living with TNBC
Triple-Negative Breast Cancer