Brave Young Maltese Survivor Opens Up About Living With And Battling Cancer
'I attacked cancer before it could attack me'
Martina Fenech, a Maltese cancer survivor who underwent a bilateral mastectomy in her battle against cancer, has opened up about what she's been through in her life in a touching story on the The People of Malta.
Her inspirational story highlights the importance of getting tested regularly, as well as the sheer strength needed to remain steadfast in the face of what could be deadly news. She explains how, besides herself, both her mother and her boyfriend were also diagnosed with cancer.
Tragically, she lost her boyfriend Jerome to cancer just over a year ago; Jerome was also known a beacon of light in his own right, raising awareness on the disease and showing just how important it is to live one's life to the fullest.
However, nothing seems to be able to stop Martina, who is set on living her life no matter what is thrown at her.
Her statement to The People of Malta, reproduced in full below, gives a tiny insight into what it means to come face to face with cancer repeatedly
"I’m trying to raise awareness and to encourage people to go for regular tests. Don’t wait for the very last minute or when it’s too late. That’s how I learnt I had cancer. I attacked cancer before it could attack me."
"I’ve become good friends with the hospital. Cancer seems to have always been a part of me. My mother got sick when I was 3 years old. When I was 6 years old, I had heart surgery. Two months after my mother died of breast cancer, I learnt that I, like mum, had cancer. I was still at school, about to sit for my O-Levels. I had to travel to the U.K. and I spent three whole months in a hospital there. I couldn’t do the exams so I repeated the year and did them the following year. It was an aggressive and rare type of cancer. I was the only person in Malta who had that type of cancer, so close to the brain."
"I lost my boyfriend, Jerome, a year ago, also to cancer. Jerome taught me a great deal about life-he was and still means the world to me. One year after his death, I underwent my second operation, a mastectomy. It wasn’t an easy decision but I have accepted it."
"I like to keep myself busy, in this way I can understand better how to overcome life’s obstacles. At 21 years old, I had already lost so many people that I have loved, I’ve underwent so many operations and been through such pain. Yet, despite all this, I’ve not given up and I’ll keep maintainng a positive attitude towards life."
"I’ve learnt a great deal from my mother. Although she was sick, she played her part brilliantly, with a smile. She always supported us in all of our projects and endeavours. My other two siblings and I grew up in an environment where we learnt that we couldn’t stop because of a hurdle that lay in our way. We had to keep swimming until we reached our destination. If you have a puncture, you stop, fix it and then keep driving."
"I love working with and helping Puttinu Cares. I work with young children and I feel that I’m being useful, that I’m doing something worthwhile. I feel this energy and push inside me to be of service to those who are going through these difficult experiences.”