A young mother from Bruce Rock, who was given just two weeks to live, has become the face of a new appeal urging people to support Cancer Council WA. Mel Blake’s family’s life was stopped in its tracks in June last year when she received a shock diagnosis for acute myeloid leukaemia. With no history of cancer in her family, Ms Blake said she was in the dark about the aggressive cancer. “Doctors say symptoms for this type of leukaemia develop within three weeks but I only ever had symptoms under three weeks where I started to feel tired, weak and sweat a lot, but I just brushed it off,” she said. “When a large bruise appeared on my calf, I knew something was seriously wrong, “I went to the doctor in Bruce Rock for a blood test on the Monday and by Tuesday morning, the haematologist called me and told me I need to get straight to Perth to have a bone marrow test. “The doctor told me he was being optimistic in giving me two weeks to live if I didn’t start treatment straight away,” “Once he told me that, I just looked at him and asked to go home. I thought my world was going to end; I thought that was my deadline. I didn’t comprehend that I was going to be alive beyond that.” Five rounds of chemotherapy followed, with Ms Blake staying at Crawford Lodge for country cancer patients over the next six months. The family was forced to find a new home for their beloved pet dogs, leaving behind their loved ones and partner Vern’s job — their only source of income. “Our life just stopped that week,” Ms Blake said. “We couldn’t have done this without the support of Cancer Council WA and the wonderful staff at Crawford Lodge. “They were like family to us; so welcoming and accommodating.” Ms Blake is now in remission at home and is eager to give back to CCWA and support the organisation amid the coronavirus crisis. “I am so proud to be the face of this appeal and I urge everyone across WA to continue to support CCWA during this difficult time,” she said. “You’d never actually understand how valuable a donation is and how far it actually goes.” Every day, 33 West Australians will be diagnosed with cancer. With upcoming major fundraising events cancelled and income significantly impacted, CCWA is calling for much-needed public donations to ensure patients receive support when they need it most. CCWA cancer information and support services director Melanie Marsh said many cancer patients and survivors were at their most vulnerable during the pandemic. Palliative Care WA has experienced a surge in calls from people with life-threatening or terminal illnesses looking for information about end-of-life choices should they contract the virus. “By supporting our appeal, you can ensure cancer patients and survivors, like Mel, have vital support when they need it most,” Ms Marsh said.