Broncos star Corey Jensen reveals mum’s breast cancer battle

Brisbane Broncos forward Corey Jensen has revealed the shocking moment his mother Nicole told him she had stage two invasive breast cancer.

Corey had just finished playing against the Wests Tigers in July last year when the life-altering news “hit him”.

“I was so shocked when she told me, I was a bit emotional. It wasn’t something I had ever considered hearing from her,” Corey, 29, said.

“She knew the Friday before and had confided in my wife Shannen. Mum kept the news from me until I had finished playing my game which was away.”

Corey said his 52-year-old mum, from Bowen, was diagnosed after attending a breast-screening appointment. She has since had a lumpectomy and is currently recovering in Townsville following two weeks of gruelling radiation treatment.

Nicole said she felt “relieved” that she had gone for her annual check-up.

“I was lucky doctors picked up the cancer early,” she said.

“Who knows what the outcome would have been if I had delayed it another 12 months? It has potentially saved my life.”

Corey is raising funds for this year’s International Women’s Day Fun Run, presented by National Storage, in honour of his mum and others fighting breast cancer.

The sold-out Brisbane event on 12 March supports women with breast cancer and raises vital funds for breast cancer research and services at Mater hospitals across Queensland.

Corey, a National Storage ambassador, said others who want to join the event can still do so – by completing 5km virtual fun runs in their own communities from March 6-12.

“I am one of seven so we are a big family,” Corey said.

“It was a tough time for all of us. Mum has never missed her yearly mammogram appointment but on that particular day she almost did.

“It was one of those really frantic days, but luckily she did end up going and the doctors were able to detect her cancer early.”

Corey described his mum as a “strong woman”.

“She will do everything she can to beat cancer,” he said.

“I check in on mum all the time. She’s struggling with fatigue and some days are better than others.”

Corey’s wife Shannen, 28, a vet in Townsville, said having a medical background had helped her husband’s family better understand the diagnosis.

“Being able to decipher the medical terms helped with processing the news. We are a close family and lean on each other for support,” Shannen said.

Across Queensland almost 3200 participants have already signed up to take part in the virtual International Women’s Day Fun Run event, with teams running in Townsville, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Mackay, the Gold Coast, Toowoomba and the Redlands.

Mater Foundation Chief Executive Officer Andrew Thomas said the fun run had been a much-loved event for more than 30 years and had been expanded to allow Queenslanders to participate wherever they live in the state.

“We’re delighted that 20,000 Queenslanders will be joining the sea of pink in Brisbane this year and that so far another 3300 will be running in their own virtual events.” Mr Thomas said.

“If you live in other parts of Queensland, you can still be part of this fantastic celebration.

“Register with us and walk or run in your own community – every dollar you raise will help women fighting breast cancer.

“This year we’re hoping to raise more than $1.75m to provide personalised support services and state-of-the-art equipment to better diagnose and treat patients, as well as investing in life-saving breast cancer research at Mater.”

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