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‘I felt like someone punched me’: Congress’ newest member of parliament shares breast cancer story in maiden speech

Mary Doyle’s shocking breast cancer diagnosis at just 25 years old would shape her path to Congress more than twice as long.

Aston’s new Labor MP touched on his experience of personal hardship and family tragedy in his first address to parliament Thursday morning.

The newest member of Parliament was “utterly by chance” in 1995 when she discovered a lump in her right breast while living in a shared house in Melbourne and working at a call center.

“I thought it was weird, so I made an appointment with my primary care doctor that morning,” Doyle told the House of Commons.

“My GP said, ‘It’s probably nothing, but I don’t like leaving these things undiagnosed,’ and, fortunately for me, sent me for a mammogram and an ultrasound. gave me

“The results said the lump was ‘atypical,’ so my GP sent me to a breast specialist to do a needle aspiration. ”

The next day, tests revealed that she had breast cancer.

Doyle, then 25, said he had “no family history” of cancer.

“I felt like someone hit me. How can I get cancer? I’m too young – this can’t be real,” she said.

camera iconPrime Minister Anthony Albanese hugged new Aston MP Mary Doyle after Thursday’s maiden speech. NCA NewsWire / Martin Allman credit: News Corp Australia

Cancer treatment meant she would be out of work for at least two months until she recovered, which meant she was unpaid as a non-regular worker.

But Doyle said he was lucky enough to live in a country with Medicare, so he was able to get the extensive treatment he needed without having to pay the “royal ransom.”

“Then I was able to get the welfare payments I needed while I was recovering,” she said.

“Care for sick people through Medicare – this is what the labor government is doing.”

Doyle said “social security” and “welfare” are not foul language and both exist for “very good reasons.”

“We have to remember what they mean and embrace them again,” she said.

“To help people recover and not be left behind, for the safety of society, for the welfare of the people.”

The new Labor MP, who grew up on public housing and continued to work in the union movement after surviving breast cancer, won a historic victory in the recent by-election sparked by the resignation of former liberal minister Alan Tadge.

She gave an occasional emotional maiden speech on Thursday as her two children, grand-niece and other family members watched from a public gallery.

Portrait Photography - Mary Doyle
camera iconMa Doyle (middle) pictured with family members Lily Chan (left), Clancy Kost, Lillian Kost and Jamila Cagney in the Capitol courtyard. NCA Newswire/Dylan Robinson credit: NCA Newswire

She thanked the Aston people for their support and was approached by a woman she met at the Bologna RSL’s Anzac Day Dawn Service who gave her a hug and said she and her partner were “so happy” to have someone in Congress. I remembered what I said. I felt they represented them better.

“It made sense as we talked about family life,” Doyle said.

Born in 1970 into a “large Catholic family” in Echuca, Doyle is the youngest of nine children born to a father who would struggle with alcoholism and depression.

Doyle describes his father, Ted, as a complex individual who has his “fair share of the devil” but also “a good judge of character” who has many funny sayings and speaks “cheerful threads.” I explained that it was

She also spoke about the tragic deaths of her sister Carmel and niece Melanie in 2009 and 2020 respectively, saying she and her family miss them terribly.

doyle maiden speech
camera iconMs. Doyle thanked her family and the people at Aston. NCA NewsWire / Martin Allman credit: News Corp Australia

Through tears, Doyle thanked his mother, Mary, who turns 93 next week.

“She would have been so proud of me and would have wanted to witness all of this,” she said.

“She’s been through a lot in her life and I’m grateful that she was there when I needed her.”

Most importantly, she said she wanted to thank the “great people at Aston.”

“At the start of the 2023 election campaign, I confessed that I was not a veteran politician and still do not consider myself a politician,” she said.

“I’m a normal type of person and have had a similar life to many of my constituencies.”

Ms Doyle said her upbringing was “ridden with challenges” and that families like hers need to be taken seriously with good policies, instead of “patting their heads and putting pity on their faces”. .

“We are not political football to be kicked at election time,” she said.

“People on the other side talk about opportunities and refuse to help families like me seize those opportunities.”

Mr. Doyle closed his speech to applause from the floor.

https://thewest.com.au/news/i-felt-like-someone-had-punched-me-parliaments-newest-mp-shares-breast-cancer-story-in-maiden-speech-c-10618507 ‘I felt like someone punched me’: Congress’ newest member of parliament shares breast cancer story in maiden speech

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