Meet the Neave sisters.
On the left is Veronica. In the middle is Chrissy. And on the right is Elisha.
These Queensland women come from a family with a long history of cancer.
Their mother has survived two bouts of breast cancer and is currently living with terminal bone cancer. One week ago, their father died of liver cancer. The sister’s grandmother, great grandmother and aunt have all died from breast cancer.
In 2007, Chrissy, Veronica and Elisha were all tested for a gene called BRCA2. Having the gene indicates a high probability of being diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer in the future.
All three sisters tested positive.
Shortly after they received this news, Veronica and Chrissy made the heartbreaking and difficult decision to have double mastectomies and a hysterectomies, as preventative measures to reduce their chances of getting cancer.
Elisha decided to wait.
Elisha wanted more children and as the youngest of the Neave family, she though time was on her side. Sadly, it wasn’t.
Last night, the Neave family appeared on Channel 9’s 60 Minutes.
In a heartbreaking segment, Veronica, Chrissy and Elisha told reporter Tara Brown that Elisha’s decision to wait for a few years may have cost her her life.
Thirty-four-year-old Elisha – who has a 10-year-old son – has recently been diagnosed with an aggressive and rare form of ovarian cancer.
This from Channel 9:
TARA BROWN: Elisha thought the odds were in her favour. She was 31 – nearly 10 years younger than her closest sister and the track record of cancer in the family was that it struck around age 50.
TARA BROWN: Elisha did plan to have preventative surgery, both a mastectomy and hysterectomy but just not yet.
TARA BROWN: Why did you wait?
ELISHA: So I – I had the dream of having more children, so I wanted my ovaries. So I thought I’d just wait a couple of years.
TARA BROWN: Elisha didn’t have a couple of years and she’ll never have another baby. Just over a year ago, age 33, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
TARA BROWN: So, in your heart, can you survive this?
ELISHA: Absolutely, absolutely. I have no other option. I’ve got a 10-year-old son so the – I’ve only got one option and that’s to survive.
The sisters have come forward with their story in the wake of 37-year-old actress Angelina Jolie’s revelation earlier this month that she’d had both of her breasts removed after her learned that she had a gene called BRCA1, that gives her an “87 percent risk of breast cancer and a 50 percent risk of ovarian cancer”.