Emily’s story

“I remember the day I was diagnosed like it was yesterday. I was young, busy and certainly didn’t have time to be sick. I look back on that period of my life now and thank my lucky stars that I was naive about cancer and its treatment. Not knowing what I was in for over the coming 12 to 18 months was definitely a blessing. Treatment included surgery, chemotherapy and amputation of my right leg above the knee.

It wasn’t long after I rode my first ski lift at Mt Buller when I was about 25 that I bumped into the Australian Disabled Ski Team during one of their training sessions. From there, add some opportunity, blood, sweat and tears, and I found myself at the winter Paralympics in Turin, Italy. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life - and one that would never have transpired had it not been for the loss of my right leg to cancer.

I spent seven years travelling the world and skiing at some of the most amazing ski resorts. I have some fantastic memories from that period in my life. In 2009 I ‘hung up the boot’, so to speak, and returned to full time work as an engineer in the water industry.

In 2010 I married my best friend and fellow team-mate Cameron Rahles-Rahbula and in January 2012 we welcomed our son Archie into the world.

Cam and I feel so blessed to have Archie in our lives, especially given that there was doubt that we could have children due to the cancer treatment we had both received. We are very lucky! It goes without saying that I fear relapse, and for this reason I’m thankful for the ongoing research into this disease. It is my hope that treatments continue to improve, with an eventual cure found. Even the inroads on reducing the severity of side effects caused by cancer treatments are a substantial win in my eyes!”