CONNIE'S STORY

CONNIE'S STORY
Connie Johnson is the proud­ as­ punch creator of Love Your Sister and has become one of the country’s foremost breast cancer advocates. How she got there is pretty cool too. Here’s the rub. Connie suddenly sported a vicious tumour in her leg at eleven, probably should have died. She fought like hell. She didn’t die. As a young woman she became a mother against shocking odds, then the bubs morphed into a tumour. More treatment. She didn’t let that stop her and had two boys anyway. Got married. Then, on her eldest son’s Willoughby’s 4th birthday, she was told she had breast cancer. Everywhere. Less than a year to live. Arrange your affairs, etc.
Here’s where it gets cool...

The fit hit the shan. Connie hated being told she couldn’t beat this one. This was what she did best. She was a cancer beater. A fighter. A winner. She had beaten it twice already. Well, if she was going to lose this one, she sure as hell wasn’t going to stop being the tough little scrapper she had become known as. A death sentence with two kids under five? Ah, sorry, no. Not cool. Not mums. Not on.
Instead of rolling over Connie decided to spend what time she could finding ways to remind EVERY SINGLE YOUNG MUM LIKE HER in Australia to check their boobs. How would she do this with no job, two kids and breast cancer spread throughout her body?

By leveraging the fading profile of her ‘dee-lebrity’ brother, of course!
Connie’s brother has acted pretty badly on a few TV shows over the years, so she pulled the cancer card and forced him through his Rolodex. He was reluctant because he was drunk (he didn’t take the news of his sister’s illness well), but she launched a little Love Your Brother campaign, cleaned him up and sent him around the entire country on a unicycle. That was how she decided she would get the attention of young mum’s everywhere. With something that had never been done before.
It worked. The country came to know Connie, the stoic older sister who used her cancer to corral her addictive, kinda lost brother into something better. Since her brother Samuel pedalled his last mile the fight has continued and Connie has now helped raise over $4M for cancer research. Between caring for her kids and being cared for, Connie keeps spanning the country, speaking to anybody and everybody about the need for awareness and the importance of research.
Connie has a great capacity for fun, but it masks a very serious side. Coming so close to death through her first cancer at the tender age of 11 made her stronger, and she was tough before that. Connie is spirited, emotional, a deep thinker and a very clever cookie. Her kids are bi-lingual and display great depth - she is a superb mother. Connie is at home with a toolbox and can build anything to spec, millimetre perfect.
She worked in the disability sector for several years which gave her great nourishment. She has built a successful small business with her husband and is an avid scrap booker and keen writer. She has always been the one who showed her family how family should be done and now, with Love Your Sister, her family aren’t the only ones who get to see it!
It’s been seven years now since Connie was told to arrange her affairs and she’s done the opposite. The TED talk, the best-selling book (nominated for Best Biography alongside Molly Meldrum, Julia Gillard and Bob Brown), the Community Awards, the media rounds, the negotiations with the political elite in Canberra, but Connie remains first and foremost, a young mum who doesn’t want other mums to deal with her reality.
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