Episode 41: Through a rainbow lens – Navigating breast cancer as a LGBTIQ+ couple


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Let’s be upfront about LGBTIQ+ communities that are affected by breast cancer. We know that cancer doesn’t discriminate and depending on who you are, and how you identify, your experience can be different.

Joining us for this episode is Mel Krollig and her partner Riki Owens-Bennett.

Mel was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 at the age of 36 and has had fertility treatment, a single mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Riki works as a community worker for the LGBTIQ+ communities in South Australia and has been by Mel’s side during her breast cancer journey. Riki and Mel have been together for 19 years, and despite a few COVID-19 related delays, married in 2021 in a celebration surrounded by family and friends.

We’ll hear about Mel’s experience of breast cancer, how Riki supported her, the challenges the couple faced together and how they navigated the system as a LGBTIQ+ couple.

This podcast was recorded in August 2021.


Upfront About Breast Cancer is a production of Breast Cancer Network Australia. Our theme music is by the late Tara Simmons, and this episode is proudly brought to you by Cancer Australia.

If this episode helped you or someone you know, you can support the show in the following ways to allow us to continue to be upfront with you and reach more people through meaningful content. Subscribe to ensure you never miss an episode, download so you always have an episode ready to listen to, leave a rating and review and tell us what you liked about the episode and complete the survey that you’ll find in the show notes. This survey will help us to tailor and create content that is relevant to our members and their breast cancer diagnosis.

Want to get in touch? Visit our website at bcna.org.au, email us at contact@bcna.org.au, or call our Helpline on 1800 500 258

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