After delivering what will remain one of most emotional, and memorable, speeches in the Logies’ long history, Carrie Bickmore has reflected on her decision to shine a light on brain cancer when accepting TV’s biggest award.
In an interview with The Project co-host Waleed Aly for Stellar, Bickmore said after years of keeping her intense grief private since losing her husband Greg, she reached a place where she knew her platform could ignite and bring about serious change.
Bickmore says she was just 21 when her late husband was diagnosed with brain cancer, and detailed how the sheer weight of the situation meant “we didn’t have a lot of time to reflect”.
“It wasn’t until Greg had passed away that I had a chance to maybe reflect on what had happened and what we had been going through. It was only in reflection that I then had this growing desire to want to do something and to make sure no other family had to go through that,” she tells her co-host for the interview.
Despite that inherent desire to raise money and awareness for a disease that claimed the life of her husband, there was one thing that held her back from talking about it publicly for a long time.
“I’ve always had this feeling that Greg, Ollie, my family, Greg’s family, [they] didn’t choose the career path that I did. I chose that, right? Everything I do, I do with them in mind. Every time I speak about him, every time I speak about brain cancer, I do it with them in mind.
“I think for so long I wanted to make sure that I preserve that intensely private, absolutely devastating journey for everybody, but then I realised that I was in this situation where I could also raise a lot of awareness, [and] a lot of money that, in turn, could mean other families like mine may not have to one day go through that,” she says.
It’s been an intensely busy and public few years for Bickmore following her Gold Logie speech in 2015. On top of her already demanding schedule, Bickmore became a very public face of brain cancer research and fundraising. And inevitably, with that came questions of Greg, questions of grief and a strange but innate public recognition that if Bickmore is ready to talk about brain cancer, she’s ready to talk about the trauma of losing her husband, too.