A local father and daughter's lucky survival

It's a story that gives you goosebumps, a series of extraordinary circumstances that ultimately saved Yass resident Brian O'Connor's and his daughter Cara Mayega's lives - and you can read all about it in the second edition of A Country Bloke V Breast Cancer.

Get the second edition of 'A Country Bloke v Breast Cancer' by Cara Mayega and Brian O'Connor at Kaffeine.

Get the second edition of 'A Country Bloke v Breast Cancer' by Cara Mayega and Brian O'Connor at Kaffeine.

Had Mr O'Connor not been tested following serious food poisoning in January 2018 his breast cancer may have gone undetected. Neither Mr O'Connor nor Ms Mayega knew men could get breast cancer before the diagnosis.

Ms Mayega flew home from Bangkok, where she lives with her two children, to take care of Mr O'Connor. At home a doctor said she should get checked, warning of the risk now her father had breast cancer.

Not long after, Ms Mayega was found to a have a rare but fast growing phyllodes tumor that would require removing half her breast if operated on in Bangkok.

Ms Mayega took to the internet for support and discovered the Phyllodes Support Group on Facebook. She connected with a member who told her of Dr Ong Kong Wee in Singapore who could remove the tumour with just a needle.

On a work trip to Singapore, Ms Mayega called Dr Ong, but he was fully booked - for six months.

She posted her disappointment on the Facebook page and lo and behold a member was in Dr Ong's office that very moment.

He shared Ms Mayega's story and Dr Ong agreed to meet with her and do the surgery that week. Both male breast cancer and phyllodes tumours are very rare and sparked Dr Ong's interest.

Ms Mayega and Mr O'Connor are surviving, happy and health and now they want to pay their learnings forward.

"It's about education," Ms Mayega said.

Both are encouraging people to get checked. As Mr O'Connor now says, "Men get it too!"

Their book is dotted around businesses in town and can be found at Kaffeine on Comur St.