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Proudly Sydney

Proudly pink for a good cause

Matt Jansen stands alongside his Mum at the 2010 event.

When the Sydney Swans take on Melbourne at the MCG this week we’ll take time out to pay tribute to breast cancer survivors and those who have tragically lost their battle, as part of the Breast Cancer Network Australia’s Field of Women event. 

The event is particularly close to the heart of passionate Sydney Swans member Matt Janssen. Here, he shares his story.

For my family the kitchen table and the backyard were the places we came together the most.  The dinner table was a place for family discussion and the backyard was where we spent summers playing cricket and all year round with a football. I dreamt of one day lifting the premiership cup up at the MCG with my family cheering from the grandstand. 

I didn’t achieve my childhood dream.  What I have done is walk onto the hallowed turf of the MCG in a pink poncho while holding the hands of my Mum and Sister.  We flew to Melbourne to participate in Breast Cancer Network Australia’s Field of Women event.

Our fundraising efforts before the event helped raise much needed money for BCNA to help families impacted by breast cancer.  What we didn’t know at the time was it helped to save the life of one of our family members. 

I will never forget where I was when my Aunty called to let me know she had breast cancer.  I was at a Chinese restaurant in Adelaide for a work function.  She explained that she had been for a screening test and they had detected a lump in one of her breasts.  She didn’t go and have the screening test because she had detected a lump, she went because of the conversation about our trip to the MCG.  The good news was her lump had been detected very early and her surgery would be in two days.

Having participated in the Field of Women event I knew that BCNA had a My Journey Kit that helped people with breast cancer understand their diagnosis and make decisions on their treatment and care.  I went online and ordered three, one for my Aunty, one for my family so that we knew how we could support and one for her surgeon.  On the day of her surgery I visited with flowers and the kits.

On the 12th of August this year I will walk onto the MCG holding the hand of my Aunty. Yes, in a pink poncho.  Whilst she’s super fit and healthy we know it’s going to be emotional.  We will be on the ground with breast cancer survivors.  Tragically we will be with families who have lost a family member to breast cancer.

Before we leave for the MCG I’m holding a Mamma Mia Gold Class Movie Fundraiser.

This is BCNA’s fifth Field of Women Event and I’m proud that I’ve participated in them all.  I was surprised to learn when I first participated in 2005 that men could also develop breast cancer.   

This year alone it is estimated that 18,235 people, including 148 men, will be diagnosed with breast cancer and I hope this number will be represented at the Field, standing together in the shape of BCNA’s Pink Lady.

It may have been a childhood sporting dream that inspired me to participate in 2005 and 2007 but it’s the awareness we create that inspired me in 2010 and 2014.  In 2018 it’s about celebrating with my Aunty.  We will also be there to support families who have lost a loved one.

After drying our eyes we will head for the grandstand to add some red and white to cheer on the Sydney Swans. 

Tickets to Matt Janssen’s movie fundraiser, Mamma Mia Gold Class on Thursday 9 August at Event Cinemas in Bondi, are still available. Visit:

Or visit here to donate: