Cancer patient rides 70km to find a cure for cancer

Suffering from metastatic breast cancer, 60-year-old Carol Abramo knows the importance of cancer research first hand.

Having benefited from St John of God Subiaco Hospital’s ongoing investment in medical research, Carol Abramo was inspired to conquer the MACA Cancer 200 for the third year in a row.Carol Abramo with oncologist Dr Daphne Tsoi

The annual event involves a 200km bike ride from Perth to Mandurah and back to raise vital funds for cancer research at Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

Carol was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014, and after two years of remission, received the devastating news that the cancer had spread.

Despite being physically weakened by the disease, Carol still entered the charity ride in 2017.

In 2018 her son Dean Abramo pedalled her in a custom-made ‘tri-shaw’ due to her declining physical health.

This year, thanks to early access to a new treatment option at St John of God Subiaco Hospital, Carol was able to cycle 70km across the two day event. Carol and her team ‘You Can Do Fit’ also raised over $75,000 for cancer research.

Carol said “When I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer five years ago, my prognosis was very poor.”

“But here I am now, alive and achieving things I never thought possible. This is thanks to research and a forward thinking medical team.”  

“We know with further research we will one day ultimately find the cure for cancer. This motivates me to get up every day and make a positive contribution,” she said. 

Carol’s specialist, St John of God Subiaco Hospital Oncologist Dr Daphne Tsoi, said “In cancer care, it is essential that every patient’s treatment is personalised.”

“We have a large oncology research unit at St John of God Subiaco Hospital, which ensures our patients have access to the very latest advancements in clinical care.”

“In 2018, Carol was incredibly weak and her health was deteriorating rapidly.  I can confidentially say that participation in clinical trials has allowed Carol to enjoy a better and longer life,” she said.

St John of God Subiaco Hospital CEO Prof Shirley Bowen added that cases like Carol’s are the driving force behind the Hospital’s significant investment in research.

“For the past two decades, St John of God Subiaco Hospital has invested significantly in a program of health and medical research to ensure our patients have access to the very latest clinical trials.”

“We know survival rates are significantly higher for patients who have access to innovative treatments and Carol is a remarkable example of this.”

“Our research is driving ongoing developments in health care outcomes that are applicable not only in Australia, but worldwide.”