As soon as see you Kate you can’t help but notice her. She has this quiet presence that makes you instantly feel calm.
I have known of Kate for a while and was surprised when she applied for my SEEN campaign. Her application made me realise that your perception of someone isnt always the way it is. You never know what is going on in someones life.
Kate told me she is tired. She used to be a light, happy person that was always ready to help anyone at anytime and now she just doesn’t have the energy.
Around the birth of her second child her body decided to drain her Iron stores and now her resilience has gone.
Wearing so many hats and trying to function in a ‘normal’ capacity has her feeling very different to who she used to be.
And it isn’t just the physical affects of being tired but the emotional.
When we first started this journey she mentioned she needed to have a private chat with herself. To find ‘her’ again. To see where they strayed off the path and how to come back around to equalling time for herself and her family.
We get so caught up in making sure everyone else is happy that we tend to forget to look after ourselves.
We lose direction and the littlest things build and build until we break down.
Kate had the strongest reaction when faced with her images. She read so much reflected back to herself that at first it was too uncomfortable for her. But, then as she adjusted she recognised in each image a part of her. A story of who makes her, her.
She chose an image that reflected the positive side of herself. One that would remind her that it is OK to have a meltdown sometimes. It isn’t a sign of weakness, it just means your cup was full to the brim and tomorrow is a new day.
She wants her story to hopefully start conversations with woman that will help them grow and feel more empowered within themselves.
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Do you know someone that is into everything?
Several qualifications including a Uni degree, diplomas and more, working different
jobs, trying new crafts and maybe even Volunteers somewhere?
Do you ever stop and think maybe they are doing all that to avoid something in their
Or simply put them down to being an over achiever.
Tonight I would like to introduce Cath.
My first SEEN lady that put her trust in me.
Our meeting almost didn’t happen.
The 2 application questions where simply too difficult to answer.
Asking her to pull off the layer of masks and business like exterior she carries
daily was more than she could put into words.
So she emailed me to say ‘thank you but it’s too much’.
Reading this I knew I had to meet her so I invited her in without completing the
This lady has a story and I wanted to hear it.
When we met it was so comfortable and we talked and talked for a long time.
When she came in she had a big coloured shirt over her singlet and long skirt.
I know this sign.
I do this.
You probably do it too.
The shirt hides her. The colour distracts you.
It is her safety blanket to protect herself.
So slowly but surely I peeled back her layers to find the true Cath.
And find her I did!
Cath is often seen as an overachiever. A Uni degree, diploma, certificates, working
different jobs, trying new crafts and more.
But in reality Cath does all these as she know time is limited. Cath was diagnosed
with Branchio-Oto-Renal Syndrome, a genetic kidney condition in 1994 and needed a
donated kidney. In 2010 she received one and now lives each day aware that one day
the kidney will start to fail and life ahead will again be unknown.
She especially understands all it involves, as her daughter was diagnosed with the
same disorder at aged 2 and had a transplant at 7 years old. Now aged 26, her
daughter is on the list again and goes through dialysis every 2nd day as she has
done for the last 9 years.
We all know time is limited but when it is in front of you and your daughter in huge
red letters it can be overwhelming.
Over her life Cath has built up a business like front and thanks to this protective
barrier she can feel very lost.
She feels invisible and struggles to remember who she is.
She knows who she wanted to be and who she was going to be but now she is just her
being her and this SEEN experience helped her see this is ok.
My SEEN ladies were gifted their favourite image from this series as I wanted them
to confront themselves.
To have to look at themselves and see something positive and remember that no matter
what they are amazing ladies and deserve to be SEEN.
Cath recently emailed me sharing her image story and it brought me to tears.
What she has described is exactly why I do what I do and I am so happy that my image
of her can help her each day.
“I have put my photo by the front door so I can see myself as I head off for the day
and it reminds me that ‘I’ve got this! Having the photo is a great mental thing for
me. I’ve been through the wringer physically and emotionally yet I still look damn
fine! Especially on those days when it’s not as easy as others.”
Cath thank you for being so raw with me and being on this journey. It is a journey
for both of us and I can’t wait to show you off proudly at the upcoming SEEN
Are you an organ donor? Please discuss your wishes with your family and head to the Australia Organ Donor website to find out more: Donate Life