Camilla Franks plans on removing her ovaries after inheriting BRCA1
Last year, acclaimed Aussie designer Camilla Franks was forced to prioritise her health over her fashion empire after a shock diagnosis.
By Hattie Hamilton and Jenny Ky
October 21 2019
Her floaty fabrics and Bohemian beach attire are the envy of fashion followers the world over.
But last year, acclaimed Aussie designer Camilla Franks was forced to prioritise her health over her fashion empire after a shock diagnosis.
Camilla learned that she had breast cancer just three months after giving birth to her first child, Luna.
And to mark one year since completing her treatment, Camilla posted a powerful message - revealing that her journey to recovery is not quite over yet.
"This past year I have cried endless tears of fear, despair, confusion and helplessness," the designer wrote in an Instagram post.
"I have been robbed of things I will never know again. But at this milestone today, the tears I shed are of gratitude and pride."
"I think when you hit the one-year milestone, it really gives you time to really reflect and acknowledge the journey that you've been on," Franks said.
"For me, it really solidified the importance of sharing my story - my fears, my vulnerabilities, my treatment plan, my health team, the full monty - in the hope that it changes one person's life.
"Since being open with my story, I've seen a domino effect - whether it's shining a lot on genetic testing, or telling women it's okay to feel broken and bald, or going into early prevention mode.
"We need to be the CEO of our own health. We live fast and crazy, wild lives, and sometimes we forget to nurture and nourish ourselves."
A light in a dark place
"At times, it was really scary to be so open and raw about something so vulnerable, but the response was incredible," Franks said.
"When I was having moments of darkness or sadness, I remembered the collective army that I had supporting me - because when you become part of the breast cancer society, you become part of this booby gang, and with that, there's a sense of connection.
"As human beings, we're all built to connect - it's how we feel loved and supported. So it's really nice that I have a much bigger tribe now."
Inheriting the BRCA1 gene
Franks discovered she carried the BRCA1 gene mutation, which meant she had a much higher risk of developing breast cancer or ovarian cancer.
"It means I need to have my ovaries out as well," Franks said.
"That, for me, there's a lot of sadness and anger. I found that harder than the double mastectomy because I love being a mum to Luna and I wanted to have another baby.
"To have the ovaries out sort of takes away the opportunity of having another child, but I also realise how bloody lucky I am.
"There are so many women who haven't been able to explore having a family because they're having to take their ovaries out before that stage of their life.
"So I know how lucky I am to have that little girl."
To help The Royal Hospital For Women Foundation raise funds to buy a mammogram machine, donate here.