Two sisters received a shocking diagnosis of cancer within just six weeks of each other.
Aisling and Margaret Cunningham, aged 50 and 46 respectively, were given their diagnoses only a few weeks apart, just after launching a wellness business together.
But despite their being sisters, the cancers were not caused by their genetics but simply a horrible stroke of misfortune.
Both Aisling and Margaret, from Brisbane, Australia, are now in remission for their cancer, but the health problems didn’t stop there with Margaret having a double hip replacement and Aisling having an ovariectomy.
Margaret was standing in front of the mirror when she saw that one of her breasts looked noticeably different to what it would usually look like.
She immediately went to see her doctor, and after having tests done she was diagnosed with lobular breast cancer, a form of cancer which develops in the milk glands.
Margaret told her elder sister of her diagnosis and advised her sister that she should also get checked out, and then immediately began a course of treatment.
To her shock, Aisling was also diagnosed with breast cancer, this time Invasive ductal carcinoma, which is the most common form of the illness.
The sisters, who lived next door to each other and are both single mothers, ended up helping and supporting each other through their respective treatment.
They even said that it was a blessing that they had been diagnosed weeks apart.
“When Margaret was doing her chemotherapy I was having surgery and when I was doing my chemotherapy she had her surgery,” Aisling told the Mail.
“So we were able to be there for each other and be there for the kids.”
But their troubles were not over when the cancer was treated, as Margaret subsequently had to have surgery to replace her hips despite being at a very young age to have such an operation.
Her hip pain had started while she was having chemotherapy, but she had just assumed it was part of the general pain caused by the cancer and the treatment.
After having a scan Margaret was diagnosed with avascular necrosis, a condition which meant that her hips could not get enough oxygen supply and so were starting to weaken.
Both sisters were out into chemical menopause while they were being treated for their cancer, and after tiring of the monthly injections of hormone blockers, Aisling decided to have her ovaries removed.
But they have not let their health scares get in the way of building a future for themselves and their families, founding a business selling self-warming eye masks.
The business has now grown sufficiently that Margaret has been able to leave her job to focus on it full time.
Aisling and Margaret added that they have received a flood of messages from breast cancer survivors who want to offer their support to the business.