By Jessica Micallef
The Sunbury community is rallying behind a much-loved mother who has been diagnosed with cancer.
Sunbury woman Michelle Grech, 39, was diagnosed with stage 4 cholangiocarcinoma –
bile duct cancer in December after experiencing symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
In the lead up to Christmas, she visited doctors where testing and ultrasounds began to determine the cause of her pain.
“Every two days I would be well, every two days I would be nauseated all day long,” Ms Grech said.
On Boxing Day, Ms Grech visited the doctors after feeling unwell again. She received the terrible news and was admitted to the Royal Melbourne Hospital to undergo further testing.
“They found the lesion in the liver and she [the doctor] said we need to do some other test,” she said. “I was progressively getting worse.
“I started to go yellow. I had some other symptoms which were happening which I knew wasn’t normal.
“Blood tests showed the liver wasn’t functioning properly.
“Certain scans showed that it was ugly, that it did look like a cancer. One scan showed I had a spot on my spine as well and that it was stage 4 bile duct cancer.”
Ms Grech’s friend of 20 years Maria Dertilis set up a GoFundMe to assist with medical and everyday costs.
“The one thing that is precious to us is to have your family around and that was what Michelle was going to need,” Ms Dertilis said.
“At the time she had started a new job. She has no annual leave. I knew I couldn’t help any other way, so I thought I could … give them that financial stability.”
Ms Dertilis has raised more than $30,000 for Ms Grech and her family.
Michelle said: “I’ve always gone to Maria in my times of need. She’s always been there for me.”
To donate: bit.ly/30J6I2j