May 2, 2019
One of the Australian Turf Club’s superstars has been battling a terrible illness in Stage IV breast cancer.
Nini Vascotto has worked at ATC for over a decade and is loved by all who have met her across the industry and beyond.
ATC wants to support her and are giving the chance for others to support her too.
Nini is doing amazing things showing great strength and courage. Whilst her favourite horses Winx and Hartnell have been doing their bit just being there to help Nini, ATC staff are doing a few things to show support and help raise funds for Nini too:
Steve McMahon, Head of Membership and Community Engagement, will compete in the Cairns Ironman in June – 3.8km swim, 180km Cycle, 41.2km run – 14 hours of pain, which is nothing compared to Nini’s battle.
Ly Tran (Braodcast & AV) and Naomi Morgan-Jones (Marketing) – will compete in SPARTAN in May.
Born in the gritty green mountains of Vermont, Spartan is a frame of mind. Gritty. Resilient. Passionate. Spartans aren’t soft. Spartans overcome obstacles. Spartan Race is innovating obstacle racing on a global scale.
Julia Van Der Veer (Marketing) – will compete in the Bowral Classic in October. The 120km Challenge course with a 1,429m ascent will see riders pass through beautiful quaint towns of the Southern Highlands.
As part of Nini’s support network these four ATC staff members are pledging their assistance through creative means. You too can join Nini’s support network if you would like to help with a donation. Every little bit counts.
Here’s a little more about Nini in her own words:
“Eight years ago my world fell apart when I was told ‘you have cancer’ on 10 December, 2010. No signs other than a small lump in one breast which had been checked and passed as benign. Then a sore rib & collarbone, but I was fit, and didn’t feel sick. No family history either.
It all unraveled very quickly. Three days later I was told unfortunately I didn’t catch it early enough, it was ‘metastatic’ already at Stage IV as it had spread to my bones. No chance of remission. No chance to have children. Treatment would be ongoing and a huge battle ahead. Yet another blow, as my bones were brittle I had to give up my passion of horse riding and eventing competitions, only four months after getting a new horse. A general guide on life expectancy back then (on treatment) was only five to eight years.
Losing count now but after four operations, three radiation courses, chemo, a million injections, tablets & scans later, I’ve made it to eight years. It’s been important personally to get to that number as (with advances in medicine) it has given me a goal, hope, an optimistic attitude, and a chance at life.
Not sugar coating, it hasn’t been a breeze getting here – exhausting, frustrating, painful and somewhat debilitating.
Each time a treatment stops working it’s a step closer to the pointy end of options. And that’s scary.
I’ve now started a clinical trial with immunotherapy as the latest treatment plan to attack some resistant cancer that has continued to grow through targeted therapy.
BUT I’m still here telling the story, I’m fighting, and have a whole lot of love through my wonderful husband, family, friends, colleagues, my brilliant Dr and nurse, all fighting with me.
The best analogy my Dr once said, is that my cancer is like a grass lawn, you need to just keep mowing it and managing that lawn.
So my lawn is patchy, but my trusty lawnmower is still going. There’s been a new motor, blade and oil change, but the engine is still running!”
The Australian Turf Club has got the ball rolling with a $500 donation. Whatever you can spare will be appreciated.
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