JILL Emberson may have been too unwell to attend the black tie fundraiser she inspired on Saturday night, but she was there in spirit, watching a live stream of the event from her hospital bed.
The ABC radio personality was "bitterly disappointed" she was too ill to make The D Majors' fundraiser for Pink Meets Teal at Souths Merewether - an event inspired by her steadfast advocacy for fairer funding for ovarian cancer. But her daughter, Malia Emberson-Lafoa'i, addressed the room on her behalf.
She said her mother had been "chomping at the bit" to be there.
"But it is just not possible for her right now," she said.
Since Ms Emberson's own diagnosis in 2016, she vowed to fight for a better deal for women with ovarian cancer, even while fighting for her own life. She has led marches, addressed parliament, and spoken frankly about her personal experience with the disease. Her commitment to the cause has helped secure millions in funding for more research into ovarian cancer - including the recent Federal Government pledge of $20 million.
"My mum has always been a social justice warrior," Ms Emberson-Lafoa'i said.
"When she was diagnosed with this disease, she was unaware of the inequity that existed in gynaecological cancers and female cancers.
"It was a no-brainer for her to get behind the cause and make some noise. There needs to be noise in order for there to be money."
Ms Emberson launched the Pink Meets Teal campaign, which called on breast cancer survivors to "link arms" with women fighting ovarian cancer to campaign for more funding, more research, and better outcomes.
On Saturday, breast cancer choir The D Majors funded and hosted the black tie event to raise about $28,000.
"My mother was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer around four years ago," Ms Emberson-Lafoa'i said. "She underwent chemotherapy in 2016, and then she was told in early 2017 that she had 10 months to live. We are lucky we've gotten to this point, two years later, but she has been the beneficiary of world class medical care, and world class medical research that really is only possible because of money that people have donated."
Ms Emberson-Lafoa'i said the "pink movement" in Australia for breast cancer had been "unstoppable".
"And look what it has done for breast cancer survival rates," she said. "I wish my mum could have a treatment that she knew had a 70, 80, 90 per cent chance of helping her live beyond the next two-to-three years. But that is not the case with ovarian cancer, and it should be. It is devastating for me that the work she has done won't benefit her, but I take solace in the fact that there is a woman, a daughter, a reader, who will one day benefit."
- More than just breasts: Below the belt cancers need a boost too
- Jill Emberson named Newcastle's Australian of the Year
- I went to the doctor and my journey began
- Emberson returns to work to spread the word on ovarian cancer
- Jill Emberson calls for equity in funding for cancer
- Sisters in arms: Breast cancer choir founder and a 'bloody warrior' join forces