Ann Rahn pictured on her last day of chemo

#95 When the nurse becomes the patient. Ann's battle with Stage 4 breast cancer.

Date published

13 Jun 2024
Ann was able to stay at WA Cancer Council accommodation for regional patients in Perth during her treatments.

Having spent her childhood travelling with her family, Ann has always had a passion for living and working in regional Australia. And when she met her future husband, Wayne, in Hervey Bay some thirty years ago, Ann already had a dream of one day becoming an RFDS Nurse. But as often happens in life, family, work and life meant Ann had to put her dreams on hold for a few years.

But eventually, with Wayne and her children’s full support, Ann completed her nursing degree as a mature age student and quickly gained a position as a student midwife in Darwin. Then, in the midst of Australia's Covid pandemic and the complexity of regional and state border closures, Ann's life suddenly took a wildly unexpected turn.

Wayne and Ann Rahn spend a lot of time waiting at airports these days, as they juggle interstate work committments.

In #Episode 95 of the Flying Doctor podcast, we hear how in the midst of Covid and with a new job and Port Hedland adventures on her horizon, Ann’s breast suddenly became ‘strangely sore’.  With Wayne already working his way across closed borders to their new base in WA, Ann found herself isolated from family and faced with a shock diagnosis of Stage 4, triple-positive metastatic breast cancer. 

Remarkably, throughout her extensive treatment and recovery, Ann continued to work as a nurse as regularly as her illness would allow. Then, in 2023, she applied for a job with the RFDS and secured her ‘dream job’ as an RFDS Flight Nurse, now based in Broken Hill.

These days, Ann and Wayne are both passionate advocates for early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. The devoted couple, who have been married for 30 years this year, would like women of ALL ages to realise that ‘there are so many forms and types of breast cancer…and if you feel like something isn’t right, then you need to get checked.'