Inspirational 18-year-old Relay for Life cancer survivor Mikaela Ryan with her cat Pepper.
Inspirational 18-year-old Relay for Life cancer survivor Mikaela Ryan with her cat Pepper. Allan Reinikka

Mikaela's a walking inspiration

MIKAELA Ryan was eight years old when doctors found a rare malignant tumour the size of a tennis ball in her ovary.

Usually tumours in children at this age are benign, but by age nine the little Rockhampton girl was receiving her second round of chemotherapy treatment.

Ten years later and despite her ovarian dysgerminoma, Mikaela remains a great representative of Relay For Life – an annual walkathon to raise money for the Queensland Cancer Council.

She was the face of the event in 2004.

Her tumour has been removed and Mikaela considers herself lucky since there has been no recurrence of the illness after her five treatments of chemotherapy.

“I think I’m really lucky but it gets a bit upsetting to hear when other people are diagnosed with cancer,” she said.

“It changed me a lot.”

But the inspirational young lady, who turned 18 last week, is living her life like any normal teen should, and studying for a Bachelor of Medical Science degree at CQUniversity, hoping to become a doctor.

“I want to be able to give back what they gave me and to be able to help other people who go through this,” Mikaela said.

“Relay for Life is a great way for me to get involved and show my support, and it’s so much fun for a good cause.”


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