A DREAM came true for a breast cancer survivor when she celebrated her 60th birthday by embarking on an epic journey across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia.

Laraine Campkin, along with her husband, David, who lives in Gerrards Cross, flew out to Tokyo, Japan in February before heading Down Under for a milestone celebration.

The highlight of the trip was the gruelling two-hour walk across the famous piece of architecture, but she insisted none of this would have been possible without the support and the lymphoedema treatment she received from staff at South Bucks Hospice.

Laraine had been diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2019.

And Laraine, a former city bond trader, was thrilled to contact the team at the hospice from Australia in March to exclaim: “I did it!”

She added: “What an incredible experience climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge was – it was genuinely an experience of a lifetime.

“I can’t say I was not scared, especially when we got to the summit in the howling wind. 

“Given the steep ladders I had to climb up and down, and the pressure I had to exert, it would not have been possible without the wonderful lymphoedema treatment I received at South Bucks Hospice. 

Laraine was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2019 during a routine mammogram.

She underwent a series of operations including mammoplasties, which is breast surgery, and the removal of three lymph nodes. This was followed by a month of radiotherapy.

In March 2020, she was told by her surgeon she did not need chemotherapy and that she would be in remission for the next five years.

However, she had to be referred in November 2022 to South Bucks Hospice for fibrosis and severe lymphoedema, which is a side effect of surgery when the removal of lymph nodes causes swelling to parts of the body.

The hospice, based in High Wycombe, also gave Laraine several counselling sessions.

“This helped me so much,” she said. “It helped me open up – they felt I kept so much within me and I hadn’t realised I did. I was counselled on how to live with my condition and talk more about it.”

She continued: “It’s a wonderful place that has changed my life and I am so grateful to everyone involved, in particular my specialist lymphoedema nurse Lynn Brooks.

“I feel blessed that I have access to the wonderful South Bucks Hospice,” she said.

For more information on how to access services at South Bucks Hospice, log onto www.sbh.org.uk