An Australian mother battling breast cancer vowed to family and friends that she would don a Wonder Woman costume on her last day of chemotherapy. On Nov. 17, she was able to make good on her word.
“From my very first day of chemo I said, ‘On my last day I am going to dress as Wonder Woman, if I ever make it through,” Danielle Javernig, a 43-year-old mother of twins, told the Brisbane Times. “Everyone in the chemo ward, those patients there on the last day, were so supportive.”
Javernig, who had gone to the doctor complaining of shooting pains in her chest and a lump in her breast, was diagnosed with cancer in May. Three months’ worth of chemotherapy failed to shrink the tumors, leading to a mastectomy.
“They took 32 lymph nodes out of my arm,” Javernig told the Brisbane Times. She underwent more chemotherapy and tested positive for the BRCA 1 gene.
“That’s the frustrating part of it: Had we known earlier, we would have been able to make a decision,” she told the news station. “Both my sisters have since been tested for BRCA 1. My twin 5-year-old little girls could be at risk with the BRCA 1 gene as well.”
Javernig told the news station that the costume was for more than only her own well-being, it was for her children, family and other patients battling cancer.
“The whole point wasn’t to be Wonder Woman by myself. The whole superhero thing was about the whole family,” she said.
“There are also so many women and children surviving chemo every day. Everyone in that chemo ward are all superheroes,” she told the news station.
Sixteen members of her family also dressed as superheroes for the photo, which has since been shared on social media.
“It is something that I would like for my children to have, a memory of something, a reminder of what happened,” she said.
Javernig is also urging women to be tested for the BRCA gene mutation if their family has a history of breast or ovarian cancer.
“Being educated is power,” she told the Brisbane Times. “It stops now.”
Javernig will now undergo radiation and is planning on having her fallopian tubes and ovaries removed next year.