Montrose mum on a mission to conquer the Larapinta Trail

SIXTEEN-years-ago Montrose resident Jane Garvey made a discovery that changed her life forever.

On an ordinary morning while taking a shower, she came across a lump on her left breast that would be diagnosed as a stage two-three carcinoma.

Following a radical mastectomy, six-months of chemotherapy and six-weeks of radiation, she was given the all-clear – but this was not to last.

During a routine yearly mammogram in 2013, a small lesion about five-millimetres in size was discovered in her right breast and was diagnosed as a triple negative breast cancer, a completely different type of cancer from her previous experience.

Following another round of chemotherapy, a mastectomy and a breast reconstruction, Ms Garvey now carries the title of a two-time cancer survivor.

“When I first heard the words ‘you have breast cancer’, I wasn’t quite sure what that meant and what the implications of the diagnosis was going to be,” Ms Garvey said.

“I really didn’t realise how hard the cancer journey was going to be – yes, I knew I had to have surgery and chemotherapy and radiation, but until you have experienced it yourself or you know someone who has gone through it, it’s very hard to explain.

“Your life is on hold for six-months while you are being ferried from one appointment to another. You think it’s never going to end, but it does, and I think I’m a stronger person for it now.”

In an effort to raise awareness and much-need funds for the Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA), Ms Garvey decided to take on another “battle” with her daughter Emily-Kate – the famed “Larapinta Trail” in the Northern Territory.

Regarded as one of Australia’s premier walking tracks, the 223-kilometre trek stretches along the backbone of the West MacDonnell Ranges from the old Alice Springs Telegraph Station to the peak of Mount Sonder.

The trek, which will take place in August 2017, will see participants hike through Simpsons Gap, the Serpentine Gorge, Ormiston Gorge and up Mount Sonder Ascent, which is a 1380-metre climb.

Having recently discovered the joys of hiking, Ms Garvey said she thought the trek would be an enjoyable opportunity to generate support for the BCNA.

“I didn’t want to take on this adventure by myself, however, so I thought it would be the perfect chance to spend some quality time with my daughter,” she said.

“Everyone in the group will be walking for the same cause – to support the BCNA and raise some money while doing it.

“BCNA might not be able to cure women of their diagnosis, but it can at least make their journey as informative and comfortable as possible.

“I also hope that by challenging myself with this trek, I will inspire my family, friends and colleagues.”

Pledging to raise a minimum of $5000, Ms Garvey said she had “high hopes” to exceed this and raise a total of $10,000 by conquering the trail.

“The trip itself will also cost us both $3,500, so we are hoping to raise enough to help us with our expenses,” she said.

“We have already raised more than $2000 through donations and a market stall at the Glenorchy Sunday Market, held in late November.

“We are currently looking for two gold sponsors worth $2000 each, which will give them large advertising on our training and trekking tops and one silver sponsor worth $500, which will include a small advertisement.

“All donations are tax deductable and will bring us much closer to reaching our goal.”

Ms Garvey will be hosting a fundraising quiz night, including a raffle, on Saturday 21 January 2017 at the Waratah Hotel in Hobart.

Tables will be available for between six to eight people and cost $15 a ticket.

Smaller tables are available on request.

For more information on Ms Garvey’s fundraising progress and upcoming events, visit the Facebook page at

Donations can also be made through the Gofundraise page at

Caption: Two-time cancer survivor Jane Garvey, right, with her daughter Emily-Kate raising funds in preparation for their trek up the Larapinta Trail in August 2017.

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About the Author: Glenorchy Gazette

The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

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