It is estimated that 19,866 women and 164 men in Australia will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021. (Source:

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian women.

Improving survival rates is only possible with ongoing research, early detection, comprehensive treatment, care programs and public awareness and support.

Life doesn’t always go the way you plan and isn’t that a poignant statement in our second year of dealing with COVID-19. But imagine getting a shock breast cancer diagnosis amidst the pandemic – and breast cancer is not discriminating – it hasn’t taken a break during the pandemic and it affects men and women of all ages

Whilst we’re being conditioned this year that staying close to home is necessary and for our own safety, with the ongoing pandemic and delta strain now in our communities, the prevalence of breast cancer in Australia means another kind of close to home.  The current diagnosis rate means that most of us will have breast cancer touch our lives in some way in our lifetime – whether it’s family, friends or colleagues. In Australia, one in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 85.

However, getting on board with the McGrath Foundation’s Pink Up fundraising month in October means we can all do something about fighting breast cancer and raising awareness, whilst supporting those that need it.

AKD, an Australian owned timber processing business with operations across regional communities, is a proud supporter of the McGrath Foundation and whilst the company is used to being recognised for its company branded orange, it really tries to adopt “everything pink” in October each year to help raise funds and awareness for this worthy cause. From shoe laces and t-shirts, to face masks logos and product packaging, AKD proudly Pinks It Up! This year the company is pleased to be targeting $100,000 of funds to be raised across its East Coast business, with the support of its employees, our local communities and the whole business supply chain.

“It humbles us each year how many of our employees, our community members, our suppliers and our customers support AKD to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation. Off the back of raising in excess of $80,000 last year, we decided to aim for $100,000 this year! AKD matches every dollar donated by our employees”, says AKD’s CEO, Mr Shane Vicary.

These funds help support the cornerstones of the McGrath Foundations work – McGrath Breast Care Nurses and Breast Health Understanding. From the time of diagnosis, and throughout treatment, the breast care nurses inform, organise, empower and support people with breast cancer and their families. Education focusses on both women and men having good breast health understanding. This means being aware of the importance of breast health, having confidence in recognising changes in your breasts, knowing the risk factors for breast cancer, and learning how to complete your own regular breast check.

Mr Vicary comments that “Yes, it’s been another tough year for everyone with COVID-19 but that hasn’t stopped this disease and we’re very conscious that whilst many of us are dealing with the challenges of lockdowns and feeling we can’t do much about those, we can do something about fighting breast cancer and supporting those that have been affected by donating to the McGrath Foundation this October – every dollar counts and everyone can make a positive difference.”

PinkUp is Personal

The current diagnosis rate means that most of us will have breast cancer touch our lives in some way in our lifetime – whether it’s family, friends, or colleagues. In Australia, one in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

It’s certainly touched AKD’s NSW State Manager Matt Taylor’s life and family in a very personal way. He’s sharing his story about this with everyone for our October 2021 PINK UP campaign to help raise awareness and promote early detection.

For Matt, it’s much more than just about the money target – it’s what the awareness can achieve in terms of education and early prevention and detection.

Here’s Matt’s personal experience with cancer in his family.

“My Nan moved in with us when I was 12 years old for family support post breast cancer, a mastectomy and extensive Chemo. Mum had Breast Cancer and a Mastectomy in her late 50’s, my Pop died of Prostate Cancer and my Dad had Prostate Cancer”, Matt tells us.

Matt feels strongly about the benefits of early detection to help manage the severity and type of treatment program.

“I get a Prostate check (and it’s just a blood test) every year and Breast Screening is a horrible test that no woman looks forward to, but I know my Nan and Mum spoke frequently of how they wished they’d caught the issue earlier”, says Matt.

Matt has also decided to make his story even more impactful and memorable this October by “going pink himself”. He has dyed his luscious beard pink – and after 4 months in lockdown in Sydney, that’s a big statement of support!

All Matt is asking for in return is that you share his story to promote the importance of regular checks and early detection.

“If a Pink Beard and my real life story inspires or scares people into making a doctor’s appointment, I’d be happy!”, adds Matt.

Donations can be made via either the link below or by scanning the QR code

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