Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

The Making of Sally; THE QUEEN OF LEAN AND GREEN SAYS HER BRUSH WITH MORTALITY RESULTED IN A BETTER PERSON AND MOTHER. IT CERTAINLY MADE HER A FIGHTER

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

The Making of Sally; THE QUEEN OF LEAN AND GREEN SAYS HER BRUSH WITH MORTALITY RESULTED IN A BETTER PERSON AND MOTHER. IT CERTAINLY MADE HER A FIGHTER

Article excerpt

Byline: WORDS: KIRI TEN DOLLE

Sally Obermeder credits cancer for making her a better person and, even more, a better mum.

The mother of two is celebrating five years of being cancer-free after an unimaginable, life-changing turn in 2011, when she was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive breast cancer the day before she gave birth to her first child, Annabelle.

"It made me re-evaluate a few things, but ultimately it made me realise that if I survived, I wanted above all to live life to the fullest," the 44-year-old says. "I had to fight to live for Annabelle."

In five years, Sally has launched an online fashion boutique, published four books, become a favourite on the desk of Channel Seven's The Daily Edition, and last year welcomed a second daughter, Elyssa, by surrogacy.

"Sure, I have now had the all-clear, but you always live with a low-level anxiety that it will come back," Sally tells Weekend.

The Queen of Greens, as she is otherwise known alongside her sister and co-author Maha Koraiem, is marking the five-year milestone with the release of their latest book, Super Green: Simple and Lean. She has also been named among the country's "game changers'' in another new title.

Sally was at a 41-week check-up with her obstetrician when she almost didn't mention a shooting pain she felt in her right breast.

"The morning of the appointment, I left the house happy, full of new life, hope and joy; I was so excited that I'd soon have a baby," she recalls.

"It never even crossed my mind that something could be seriously wrong."

A battery of ultrasounds, biopsies and mammograms at Sydney's Breast Clinic confirmed the heavily pregnant mum-to-be had stage three breast cancer.

"In that moment my whole life completely stopped,'' Sally says. "I can still remember exactly what I wore that day: a fitted electric blue dress with ruching on the side and metallic silver sandals, and I had my hair in a topknot.

"I remember doing my tax in the morning because I wanted to get all of that sorted before Annabelle was born."

The new mum went straight from the birth suite and into the oncology unit where she underwent a year of "gruelling" treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation and a double mastectomy, while juggling the demands of a newborn baby.

"It was so hard. My girlfriends cooked meals, my parents looked after Annabelle while Marcus (her husband) and Maha came with me to chemo.

"I was struggling so much but because she was this precious baby that Marcus and I wanted for so long, I couldn't let her down and I didn't want her to suffer. I wanted her to have as much of a normal life as possible.

"Annabelle was the strength I needed to get through each day."

The experience, as testing as it was for a new-time mother, gave Sally a new-found outlook on life, but also triggered a spark for her sister Maha, now Sally's business partner. …

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