WHEN Magalie Lameloise was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 33, she found it difficult to source a book which was not full of medical jargon.
So the mother-of-one changed all that.
What started as cartoons on a blog chronicling Magalie's story, grew into a cartoon booklet to help others.
Comics strips and graphic novels have a special place in the French culture with comics considered a cultural window to creative activity.
"As we always enjoyed reading comic books, my husband gave me this idea that perhaps I should start drawing my story and posting the images on a blog," Magalie says.
Her blog was a hit and drew positive feedback from women all around the world and the drawings kept Magalie busy during treatment.
Messages flowed from women facing breast cancer saying they wished they had had read the cartoons at the beginning of their journey.
That prompted Magalie's decision to print the cartoons into a booklet available free to newly diagnosed women.
A successful crowd funding campaign led to 1000 booklets being published in English and 1000 in French.
The booklets are being sent to the main hospitals in Australia and in France.
Magalie has also been contacted by patients living in Canada, in Egypt and in Sweden who would like to distribute her booklets in the main hospitals in their countries.
Magalie recently won the Hastings Cancer Trust's Betty and John Allman Award, given in recognition of Betty's work in fund-raising and in memory of Betty's late husband.
She will use the funding through the trust to publish 1000 extra copies in English and distribute them in the Hastings and Macleay.
"My booklets are a great source of information, for women facing breast cancer, but as well for the people who care about them," Magalie says. "They are accessible to everyone.
"They provide information in a simple way and with a little bit of humour sometimes."
Magalie hopes her booklets will reduce the stigma about breast cancer and raise awareness in our community.
"I want to say that breast cancer can strike at any age," she says. "I was lucky that my GP decided to send me for an ultrasound even if we both thought it was nothing serious. "Unfortunately there is no age to have breast cancer."
Magalie's breast cancer diagnosis came as a shock.
"With my immediate family in France, my husband was my primary source of support," she says. "He and my beautiful son have been amazing throughout the journey. Luckily, close friends and the medical team around us have been also a tremendous help."
Ten months of treatment, including chemotherapy and radiotherapy, followed Magalie's diagnosis with an aggressive type of breast cancer found at an early stage.
She finished treatment two years ago, and with a good prognosis, is encouraged and hopeful for the future.
Magalie's booklets should be available early next year through hospitals, clinics and medical centres in the Hastings and Macleay.
Anyone interested in receiving a booklet can email Magalie at firstname.lastname@example.org