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Alisha shared her story about having stage 4 breast cancer with 7 kids. Here's what you did.

Just over a week ago, Mamamia published a story about a 29-year-old woman named Alisha.

A mum to seven kids, Alisha has stage four breast cancer.

It was 2017 when she first noticed something unusual. Her nipple looked infected. It was “oozing clear liquid” and before long it “cracked open”.

The doctor believed it was an abscess – a collection of pus normally caused by a bacterial infection – and would need to be drained. Once it was drained, however, it grew back.

She was pregnant when finally, 18 months later, she received the proper diagnosis.

It was stage three breast cancer. Aggressive. It wasn’t long before they found it in her lymph nodes and then in her liver. By that point, it had progressed to stage four.

Watch: How to check your breasts. Post continues. 

While pregnant, Alisha underwent a mastectomy. Her baby boy Isaac was delivered early, so she could begin chemotherapy two weeks later.

“Everything’s kind of come undone…” Alisha told me on the phone. Five and 10 year plans were abandoned, and Alisha decided “we’re only ever left with memories”.

So she wrote a to-do list.

Take her family on their first overseas trip. Marry her partner in front of their children. Swim with big turtles. Learn another language. Take the kids horse riding. Take the kids to the Royal Easter Show for the first time. Slow dance in the sunset after a romantic dinner.

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Alisha with her family. Image supplied.
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We directed our readers to Alisha's Go Fund Me page, set up by a friend. The money raised now sits at $53,078.

But within hours of publishing Alisha's story, we began receiving emails.

The first was from the Sydney Royal Easter Show. They wanted to donate tickets to Alisha and her family, as well as some extras.

The next was from Sierra, a woman who owns Babushka Ballerina, a bridal boutique. She wanted to create and donate a wedding dress especially for Alisha.

The offers kept flooding in.

We spoke about Alisha's story on our flagship podcast Mamamia Out Loud, asking our lady start up community if there was anything, no matter how small, they might be able to do to help.

One week later the donations include wedding invitations, a photographer and videographer, a celebrant, candles, decorations, hair and make up, jewellery, a dress, catering, wedding stationary, portrait drawing and family portraits, a holiday home, family horse riding and a solicitor.

But that's only the beginning.

The story was picked up internationally, and later this year Alisha will be going on her first overseas holiday with her family. They've been offered a trip to Taronga Zoo to feed the giraffes, and a spa day - for Alisha and her daughters to pamper themselves.

The list goes on and on.

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Alisha during chemotherapy. Image supplied.
Alisha during chemotherapy. Image supplied.

"It's overwhelming and unexpected," Alisha told Mamamia. "It's such a beautiful thing. When there's so much bad in the world, for people... for strangers to come out and offer their donations, words of wisdom, and their support is amazing.

"It brings tears to my eyes.

"These are people who I don't know. People who genuinely have good hearts and good souls and want to pass that on to make somebody who isn't going through the best time, to give them that little bit of happiness and light in their lives.

"And that means so much."

On behalf of Mamamia, thank you to everyone who so generously contributed.

The power of rallying around each other in times of crisis cannot be understated, and Alisha's story is a touching example of that.

There's just a few more things Alisha and Mamamia would like to ask of you, though.

Check your breasts.

Get regular mammograms.

And if you have a gut feeling that something is wrong, then get a second opinion.

For Alisha, it could have made all the difference.

Tags: cancer , family , health , her-story , news-stories
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