Mamamia Cares

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  • advanced breast canvcer support group

    ‘My amazing medical team helps me fight cancer.The support group helps me live with it.’

    Share        By BRIGHID MAXWELL My name is Brighid Maxwell and I am 45 years old.  My husband Graham and I live in Toowoomba, Queensland with our two boys, William (13 years) and Jack (8 years). It was late December 2010. I found what I thought was just a blocked milk duct in my breast. I saw my GP but sat on the referral for a scan she gave me until the boys went back to school. In February, I went for a mammogram. The scan showed the ‘blocked duct’ was a lump. A biopsy confirmed the lump [read more]

  • Young-Girl-receives-Cadbury

    Hidden issue of hunger in Australia.

          By Sarah Pennell, Foodbank Australia Hunger is one of Australia’s best kept secrets. Two million Australians access food assistance at some point every year, with half of those going without being children. Low income and single parent families have become the biggest groups turning to welfare agencies for help, as cost of living pressures mean one unexpected expense or event can tip the balance. As holidays such as Easter approach, the gap between the more and less fortunate is highlighted. While many of us look forward to  a few days of food, family and, of course, chocolate for [read more]

  • generation a film 1

    “I was taught at a very young age to fight for those who have no voice and to be grateful for what I have.”

            By Jasmin Kozowy My name is Jasmin Kozowy I am journalist and activist. I recently made a film Generation A about the next generation of children and teenagers in Afghanistan. If you get a chance to see it, you will understand that education is the solution for Afghanistan and together we can positively support Afghanistan as an international community. On my first trip to Afghanistan I was 23. It was 2012 and I toured the country as a media consultant for the US army. I was a type of spin-doctor for a special project working to [read more]

  • SpooningBananas

    “There’s a lot I wish I had been told about sex.”

            There’s a lot I wish I had been told about sex. Like the benefits of masturbation, why cling film is not an effective contraception method, and about the truly alarming sounds your body can make at the most awkward times. These are the gems I’ve eventually learnt after 10 or so years of sexual activity, oversharing seshes with friends, a Masters in Sexual Health and working in Health Promotion at various reproductive and sexual health organisations. I’ve managed to acquire this kind of knowledge and experience despite the best efforts of my early sex education to [read more]

  • international pompe day 1

    Only 30 Australians are diagnosed with this debilitating disease.

            I am Catherine Jenner. I have always been a very active person in general and currently, together with my husband run a successful manufacturing business. We have two children aged seventeen and eight years and a suburban house that is in the midst of renovations. I also have an extremely rare, debilitating and life threatening disease – so rare only 30 Australians are currently diagnosed with it! Those who know me will remember a very normal girl growing up, who like many others was not very good at sport, a little slow at running and maybe [read more]

  • lung cancer specialist nurses   2

    “Beth was more than a nurse to us.”

            By CORAL FUATA My husband, Alex, was a fit and active 55-year-old father of our three children and rarely visited the doctor. In 2008 Alex visited the local clinic for what he thought was an infected bite. To make the most of his visit, he asked for a full check-up. His results were completely normal and it was simply by chance that the radiologist was at the clinic, so the doctor also recommended a chest x-ray. Immediately after having the x-ray, Alex was referred for a CT scan. He was then advised to return to the [read more]

  • shitbox rally 1

    250 cars, 500 participants, 7 nights, and over 4000 kms.

          By AMANDA FRY The open road can be very therapeutic, especially when processing emotions related to grief or loss. Even in my early twenties, I have always loved driving into the horizon not really knowing when I will get where I am going, or sometimes even where I would end up.  It’s my time to be really alone in my thoughts and deal with whatever is troubling me. I absolutely inherited this from my father, we are both ‘journeyman’ filled with an unquenchable desire to explore anything new and different. In a poem by the same name, [read more]

  • plate up the positives

    The Butterfly Foundation invites you to Plate Up The Positives.

          The Butterfly Foundation provides support to Australians faced with negative body image and those who are affected by an eating disorder. The demand on our National Support Line continues to increase and we are aware of how many people are coping with concern around weight and shape. Each one of us is witness to messages prescribing restrictive diets and a “one size fits all” approach to appearance. We face increasing pressure to look a particular way, and the language around food is increasingly labelled as “good” or “bad”. For the month of April we’re encouraging everyone to [read more]

  • saudi-women-driver 24.10.13

    Saudi women fight for the right to drive their own lives.

            Your hands grip the steering wheel, your foot is tapping while you anxiously wait in weekend traffic. Maybe you’re heading to the shops or playing taxi for your children’s sporting activities. Across the Indian Ocean, women are defying a ban on female drivers, fighting for their right to do the exact same thing. On Saturday 29 March, in line with Obama’s visit, women in Saudi Arabia will once again take to the streets to call for an end to the driving ban.  Although there is no official law, women who attempt to drive continually face arrests [read more]

  • megan

    “Female driven stories do have a place on our screens.”

          By Megan Riakos On 14 January 2014, I was in the midst of shooting the final week of my first feature film Crushed.  We had assembled an amazing team together for not much money, to complete the film in not much time. On that same day Variety released an article titled ‘Employment Of Women In Film Production Dips Below 1998 Levels’.  It goes on to reveal that in the U.S. only six percent of features are directed by women.  SIX PERCENT!  Australia fairs a little better (but not by much) at roughly eighteen percent. And it’s not just behind [read more]

  • PURPLE DAY 2014 1

    Purple Day 2014: A mum’s journey with an epileptic son.

            By NICOLE THOMSON-PRIDE I could hear her taking in deep breaths in between the silence. I didn’t know what to say. But I knew on the other end of the phone there was a 25 year-old mum trying her best to hold it together. Trying not to cry. She had stayed so strong throughout the whole interview. She hadn’t cried once. Not when she told me about her son’s first seizure. Not when she recounted how a beautiful, healthy young boy had been gradually stolen away from her. Not even when she told me about the [read more]

  • dr sharon lewin 2

    HIV has been transformed from a death sentence, to a manageable disease. But there is no cure… Yet.

              On April 9, Professor Sharon Lewin will be speaking at Women in Science – Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders in Melbourne. In the lead up to the event, she writes for Mamamia about her work researching HIV and AIDS.  By Professor Sharon Lewin With the discovery of effective treatment in 1996, HIV was transformed from a death sentence to a manageable chronic disease. But treatment must be lifelong, is not available to all who need it, and there is no cure. This July, Melbourne will be hosting the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) and I will be the [read more]

  • The mother and daughter have been homeless since early January

    The prospect of being without a home is frightening – especially when children are involved.

              Like thousands of people in and around Melbourne, Sarah* lived in private rental with her husband and child. They were on a single income and after the death of her mum, Sarah was diagnosed with severe depression. The couple were struggling to cope and had fallen behind in their rent. By the time Sarah found us at Homeless Law, there was an eviction order and police were going to remove the family from their home in seven days. They were behind in the rent by about $400 and the landlord wanted to move back into [read more]

  • aycc 1

    If you come from rural Australia, you’re probably worried about this…

              By SAM MILLAR Yackandandah. Where is that, you say? If you locate yourself around Tangambalanga, Mudgeegonga, Tallangatta or Mt Murramurrabong you’re not far off. Wodonga and Wagga Wagga are also just a stone’s throw away.  Yack (that’s what we call it for short) is the place that I grew up. Being located in a region where bushy hills meet the Murray River and farmland vistas, the days of my childish innocence were spent swimming in creeks and dams, climbing eucalyptus trees, riding horses and exploring the bush beside my parent’s hobby farm. But I’m worried [read more]

  • nurse naomi 1

    She used to see things from a nurse’s perspective. Now she has to nurse her own, very sick little girl.

              By NAOMI COOK Last year I started blogging about health and wellness as Nurse Naomi, but at the end of 2013 I had no idea that in the New Year I wouldn’t be blogging about health from a nurse’s perspective but as a mother, nursing her own, very sick little girl. The turning of the tides is a raw, humbling experience and one I am compelled to share. Here is our story. ‘It’s a Tumour.’ I swear it’s a day I’ll never forget, yet only nine weeks later it’s already fuzzy around the edges, courtesy [read more]

  • justine flynn thankyou water

    At the age of 21 she wanted to help the 900 million people who don’t have access to safe water.

                By JUSTINE FLYNN, co-founder of Thankyou Group Here in Australia, we’re constantly reminded about how lucky we are to be living in a country with as many advantages as ours. We all have worries and things that keep us up at night, but for the most part, access to basic life necessities such as safe water, shelter and food aren’t on that list. Sometimes, it takes one conversation for it all to really sink in — for my fellow Thankyou co-founders and I, this was learning that while 900 million people don’t have access to [read more]

  • syrian civil war 1

    Syria: Three years of conflict.

              By THE UN REFUGEE AGENCY Not long ago, Syria was the world’s second largest refugee-hosting country. Now, after three years of conflict, Syrians are about to replace Afghans as the largest refugee population worldwide. For decades Syria welcomed refugees from other countries, and now it has been ripped apart and forced into exile itself. Children have been the hardest hit in this war, and over 1.2 million of them are now living as refugees. There are grave fears for these kids who have experienced three long years of trauma and brutality in this humanitarian catastrophe. [read more]

  • bronwyn hope

    The funny side of breast cancer.

              By BRONWYN HOPE A funny thing happened a few days after my 48th birthday.  Instead of a birthday present, my doctor gave me these four words.  ‘You. Have. Breast. Cancer’. Alright, I admit it wasn’t actually funny at the time.  But two years on, I can honestly say that having breast cancer taught me that you really can laugh – and loudly – in the face of adversity. At first there’s nothing at all funny about facing the prospect of your untimely demise. But there can be a lot that is funny about what happens [read more]

  • Tsuno disposable sanitary pads  1

    Women in the developing world face this difficult period every month.

                By ROZ CAMPBELL ­If you’re reading this there’s a 50% chance you are a woman. Given that, if you’re in good health, there’s a 50% chance you have/ used to/ or will experience a menstrual period during your life. I will always compare every period I have from now on to one I experienced last September. I am an ambassador for local charity One Girl, and as a result decided to take part in the “Do It in a Dress challenge”- raising money for girls’ education in Sierra Leone. The idea behind Do It [read more]

  • Great Barrier reef dredging 1

    Our reef needs more than an hour.

                I just got back with a team filming a documentary at the Great Barrier Reef and there really is only one word for what we saw: stunning. From above, it looks like a blue desert speckled with green jewels. Under water, reef fish dart through bright coral canyons. But no matter which way you look at it, our Great Barrier Reef is one of the most vulnerable places on Earth to the impacts of climate change. The breathtaking beauty of one of our most-loved national icons is not enough to save it. Australia relies [read more]