New Year’s Day 2017 was the beginning of the worst year of our lives.
Jenny, then 16 1/2 years old, was Australia’s number 1 for free skating and figures in her age group. Our year was supposed to be filled with hard work, competitions, training and travel.
Instead we were told after a few really horrible experiences that Jenny had Brain Cancer. It was Diffuse Anaplastic Astrocytoma grade 3, at best 13-15 months to live.
Surgery, radiation and 12 months of chemo has not kept this girl down, Jenny continued to compete, train and coach while on chemo, even winning her events.
Jenny has left the worrying and the research to me while she concentrated on NOT being the cancer kid. Skating became her therapy and her life line.
The family has struggled through, Patrick her dad struggled the most and I just do what I have to and try not to think about WHEN it reoccurs.
I have often said to people "it feels like we were all pulled apart, put in a plastic bag, shaken up and put back together ALL WRONG"
Jenny recently competed at Nationals and won her event, making her number 1 in Australia again, we are so proud. In January, Jenny competed in Florida at the Americas Cup, placing 3rd. Jenny has been invited to Argentina to be coached by one of the best in the world, she is at University, coaches, skates and works part time.
Her scans are 3 monthly, we just wait for the axe to drop again. But in the meantime she tries to live every day.
We volunteer where we can and talk to as many people as possible.
There is a huge financial toll on families, you are expected to keep living and working as if you have not been told "this is going to kill you Jenny, you will die from this".
Jenny is my inspiration, as she is for many others. She is a remarkable young lady that deserves a long healthy life and to have a family of her own.
We know research is the only way things will change.
Written by Deborah Schneider (Jenny's mum)