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Dr Pamela Hendry : A Breast Cancer Survivor

by Dr Vanessa Atienza-Hipolito, Founding Member, The Brilliant Foundation

COTTESLOE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA (WA) - I met Dr Pamela Hendry about 6 years ago when I gave an educational talk on the Update of Breast Cancer Diagnostic Testing in Moderate-to-High-Risk Women for the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Nedlands WA. After my presentation, Pamela (Pam) introduced herself as a Founding Director of The Ladybird Foundation. Since then, we connected and in Pamela’s words we became “Breast Friends Forever”.

I wanted to help her with her advocacy and introduced Pam to Ian Wee. Ian Wee is an Occupational Therapist who focuses on musculoskeletal injuries. Ian is the Founding Director and Principal Practitioner of the Perth Integrated Health Clinic. The synergy with Ian, Pam and I led to several fundraising cycling and running events and educational health talks. Personally, I raised funds for The Ladybird Foundation through my completion of a full marathon and ironman 70.3 (half ironman) events.

Photo (From Left to Right) : Dr Pam Hendry and Ian Wee supporting Ladybird Foundation through Tour de Gracetown Cycling fundraising events.

Dr. Vanessa-Atienza Hipolito (Vanessa) : “Tell me about yourself and your childhood?”

Dr. Pamela Hendry (Pamela): “I was born in Gnowangerup (a very small town in Rural Western Australia) 65 years ago and was very fortunate to grow up with my brother in a loving supportive family in the country. I attended primary school in the country and came to Perth to boarding school for my secondary schooling. I studied Medicine at University of Western Australia (UWA) and graduated in 1980.

I am a doctor (GP), a director of a small charity (The Ladybird Foundation), and a breast cancer survivor (8 years and counting). I am also blessed to have made some lovely enduring friendships over the years.

I am a mother and stepmother of 3 adult children, wife of a doctor, sister, sister-in-law aunt, great-aunt and member of a large extended family. No grandchildren so far!

Vanessa : “What were you doing prior to your diagnosis?”

Pamela: “Prior to my breast cancer diagnosis, I was working part-time as a General Practitioner in a busy metropolitan practice as well as being a full-time Mum and wife. I also helped my elderly mother who was living with dementia at home until she moved into residential care shortly before my diagnosis.”

Vanessa : “What do you do for Exercise? Fitness? Daily routine?”

Pamela: “I have always enjoyed a moderately active lifestyle, keeping reasonably fit with regular walking several days a week while I was working in part-time GP. I carried out the usual activities around the home including garden and pool maintenance. More recently, I have returned to running and discovered Yin yoga.”

Vanessa : “Your personal achievements?”

Pamela: “I consider my main achievement to be motherhood (including step-parenting) and contributing to maintaining a medical marriage that has lasted for over 30 years.