What is IBC?

Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC) is a rare and very aggressive disease in which cancer cells block lymph vessels in the skin of the breast.

This type of breast cancer is called “inflammatory” because the breast often looks swollen and red, or “inflamed.”

Julie Fishlock was a much-loved woman from Yea, Victoria, who passed away Februrary 15, 2020 after a 4-year battle with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). A mum, and expectant grandmother, Julie enriched the lives of those around her through open mindedness, optimism and panache – even during her treatment.

“Cancer takes so much from people, but I have learnt that in a weird way it will give back if you let it.” (Julie, 2017).

In walking the talk, Julie was an active participant with the Yea Community Cancer Charity and in 2019 took the leap to initiate, and found, Australia’s first IBC-specific charity, The IBC Network Foundation Australia.

Whilst largely undescribed in Australia, studies from North America and Europe suggest that IBC is a rare (< 2% of all breast cancers) but highly aggressive variant of breast cancer that develops rapidly and has often spread to other sites of the body before diagnosis (1 in 3 IBC patients). Because of the aggressiveness of this disease, and the lack of IBC-specific treatments, the survival rate of patients with IBC is worse than that of non-IBC (~2-2.5 years).

There is much to be learnt about this disease; specifically, the burden of IBC within Australia and how it can be diagnosed and treated.  With this at the forefront, it was Julie’s mission to raise funds for IBC-specific research, education and awareness.


The IBC Network Foundation Australia continues Julie’s mission in her honour, as well as the many other Australian’s currently living with IBC.  With this said, we are pleased to announce that we are supporting ‘Bulbs for Boobs’; an amazing and ongoing fundraiser led by one of Julie’s closes friends Lisa Rudd:

“Thank you so much for supporting and encouraging the ‘Bulbs For Boobs’ initiative – which I have created as a dedication and acknowledgement of the amazing strength and determination of Julie Fishlock and her endeavors to raise awareness and funding regarding Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

I came up with the idea for Bulbs for Boobs when I went on a road trip the day that Julie died.  To try and deal with the passing of my dearest and best friend I headed off to Julie’s favourite place in Tasmania (where we had spent some very special times and created wonderful memories) – the place was Cosy Corner at the Bay of Fires. During my road trip I bought some bulbs from a road-side-seller and when I got home to Kempton I planted the bulbs in memory of Julie … and my idea literally grew from that moment!

I approached Tasmania’s largest bulb producers, Van Diemen Quality Bulbs, and put forward the Bulbs For Boobs concept, they open-heartedly accepted my idea and have been amazing in making the initiative become a reality.

Van Diemen Quality Bulbs (VDQB) releases three catalogues a year – and each one will have a Bulbs for Boobs option for people to purchase.  These bulbs are suited to climates across Australia (due to quarantine regulations they can only be delivered within Australia), but people outside Australia can purchase bulbs as gifts for others to be delivered to family and friends across the country.  Delivery times and costs can be found in the VDQB catalogue.”

Lisa Rudd, ‘Bulbs for Boobs’.

The “Bulbs for Boobs” pack consists of 33 bulbs (10 x Mixed tulips, 10 x Dutch Iris, 10 x Bedding Freesias, and 3 x Allium Purple Rain). Five dollars from each pack sold will be donated directly to The IBC Network Foundation Australia.

To liven up your garden, purchase a ‘Bulbs for Boobs’ pack from Van Diemen Quality Bulbs here: 

Lisa has also set up a Facebook page for those green thumbs willing to share and track the growth of their flowering achievements:  www.facebook.com/LiveLifeAbsolutely 

Thank you in advance for your support!

The IBC Network Foundation Australia


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