AGAINST ALL ODDS: South Burnett athlete's amazing journey

GIVING BACK: Equestrian rider and cancer survivor Sue Cox works as a breast care nurse.
GIVING BACK: Equestrian rider and cancer survivor Sue Cox works as a breast care nurse. Claudia Williams

IT HAS been two years since Sue Cox built up the courage to get coaching to overcome her fear of getting back on a horse.

Horses have been apart of her life since she was eight years old and now she is confidently riding her horse, Dash, in local dressage events as a member of the South Burnett Equestrian group.

"I had many years off the horse so now that I have an opportunity to get back on the horse there is nothing nicer," she said.

Mrs Cox has been nominated by her fellow riders for Equestrian Queensland's 'Against All Odds' award and has been named as a finalist.

The award recognises an individual who has pursued their equestrian ambitions despite a disability or extremely difficult personal circumstance which is a great description of what Mrs Cox has achieved having overcome cancer.

She was first diagnosed with lymphoma at 17 years of ago and went through chemotherapy and radiotherapy .

As a result of these treatments she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2000 and again in 2010.


Sue Cox with he horse Dash.
Sue Cox with he horse Dash. Contributed

It was when she was in hospital for her most recent breast cancer in 2010 when she set to goals for herself, to ride equestrian and become a breast care nurse.

She is currently the acting McGrath Foundation breast care nurse for the South Burnett as well as clinical nurse at the Nanango hospital emergency department and relishes the opportunity to give back.

"I see many remarkable women day in, day out who are far worse off than me and they have such humour and for me it is a privilege to care for them and assist them in any way," she said.

Mrs Cox completed her entire nursing degree while undergoing treatment at 20 years of age and believes it has made her the nurse she is today.

"When I had chemotherapy it gave me a real insight into how hard it is for people and I have connected with cancer patients ever since because you get a bit of street cred," she said.

When she was first diagnosed at 17 she just wanted to make it to 21 and now at 58 she is showing no signs of slowing down and hopes to continue riding and being a nurse well into her seventies.

"To any women that is going through breast cancer, don't be frightened, utilise your breast cancer nurse because she will put everyone together for you and there is a lot of support out there for you and once youy get through the other end life is worth living," she said.

Topics:  breast cancer equestrian mcgrath breast care nurses

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