Hanging on a wall in a small boutique in Paris, Hannah’s wedding dress looks like something out of a horror movie.
It’s just as pretty in person as it is in the store, with silver details and a delicate satin sheen.
Her mother, Emma, who works as a receptionist, had worn it to a recent engagement party, and it was a highlight of their two-day trip to the Mediterranean.
It was also a reminder of how Hannah’s life has changed since she was born, when her parents divorced and her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Emma, who is in her sixties, was living in a care home when her mother’s cancer took her life in March.
The couple had been married just three weeks when Emma lost her mother, and Hannah’s birth was the catalyst for their new life together.
When Emma had her first child, Hannah was born without any implants, which meant Emma had to have a breast augmentation.
Since then, Hannah has been given a range of implants including a double mastectomy and a new tumour in her back.
“The surgery was very painful,” Emma says.
She lost all the hair on her head, and was in constant pain and numbness from the operation.
Hannah and Emma have two daughters.
Emma says they both feel “a little sad” about their mother’s death.
“We’ve had to go through a lot together, and we have two different lives,” she says.
“It was hard to watch her go, and to see her go.”
But it was the best decision for her, and for us.
“The girls are now learning to wear their own wedding dresses and are planning their own weddings.
But they don’t want to stop there.
They want to make sure their daughters’ bodies look the best they can.
A wedding dress has to be a symbol of pride and independence.
So Hannah is now hoping to raise money for breast cancer research.
You can help Hannah and Emma by making a donation.
If you would like to donate, you can go to https://www.getchange.org/donate-to-a-child-cancer-research-center.html.
Read more about the issue of breast cancer in this week’s Sydney Morning Herald.