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A Personal Reflection

Loving mother-of-seven, Rachael Whittaker shares a personal reflection on why she decided to generously donate towards medical research through Australian Heart Research

Whittaker donate through AHR

“Medical research is important to help save lives and improve people’s lives after an event. I donate to Australian Heart Research, Australian Breast Cancer Research and soon Kidney, Transplant and Diabetes Research Australia* as there are personal connections and motivations for each disease and it’s a way I can still help and care for others.

My background is as a clinical nurse at the paediatrics ward at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and I’ve also completed placements in Alice Springs and surrounding areas. Heart and kidney disease, diabetes and cancer were some of the health issues I encountered during my three years as a nurse.

During this time, I got married and started a family, seven kids and 13 years later my nursing career is long faded into the background. After seeing disease and illness affect people, both children and adults, I wanted to help support those affected and seek prevention for others.

Donating towards these causes is something I observed from my parents and their example motivated us to do the same.

Unfortunately, when I was seven months pregnant with my first child and what would have been my mother’s first grandchild, my mother died of cancer at the age of 53. She had several bouts of breast cancer from when I was just five years old until 20 years old. She was then diagnosed with bone cancer and passed away three years later.

Another battle came in December 2015 when my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and was only seven at the time. Another battle came 18 months ago as my father-in-law had a triple heart bypass, thankfully he is going well now.

I’ve been home caring for my kids for almost 14 years and giving to AHR not only contributes to continued research and patient care, it gives me a sense of doing something – acting, caring and actively helping the community and society as a whole.”

We appreciate the support from all our generous donors! You can join the fight by becoming part of our Beating Heart community as a regular giver! Click here to find out more, or get in touch with us via [email protected] or call (08) 8244 0591.

*AHR and KTDRA is part of The Hospital Research Foundation Group.