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Channel 10 newsreader Hugh Riminton opens up about his wife's heartbreaking cancer battle during COVID-19

The Ten news legend was awestruck by his wife Mary’s bravery as she endured the battle of her life.

By Woman's Day team
Fighting breast cancer 
is hard enough for any woman, but having chemotherapy in a hospital during COVID-19 isolation is a new kind of hell, and it's one that Channel Ten journalist Hugh Riminton's wife Mary Lloyd knows all too well.
Hugh had to isolate himself away from Mary, 45, who is a landscape photographer and journalist, so he could keep working while she underwent chemotherapy, which left 
her immune system acutely vulnerable to infection.
"The experience was hard on the entire family, but especially challenging for Hugh," reveals Mary of her husband, 59.
"He was working every day, doing his best to bring us the supplies we needed, but not getting any of the uplift from being part of the family, hanging out with the kids or really having any contact with us.
"That was an enormous sacrifice he made 
to keep me safe and I'm incredibly grateful for all the support he's given me."
Mary is so fortunate to have her supportive family around her. Image: Instagram
Stressing that her ordeal is something one in eight Australian women have to endure, Mary knows how fortunate she is to have such a supportive husband and three loving kids, Coco, 14, Jacob, 11, and Holly, eight, to help her through the worst of her battle.
"I really want my kids to have a worry-free childhood, and I didn't like the thought of them being concerned about me, but kids get a sense of what's going on without you telling them," Mary explains.
"If they thought I was trying to hide something from them, they'd have been even more concerned, so I told it to them straight. I'm glad I took that approach. They've been an enormous source of comfort and support throughout the whole thing.
"I had no idea how I'd feel about losing my hair, but what really helped was that they weren't concerned about it. As I was starting chemo, Holly would check my eyelashes in the evening to see if they'd fallen out.
"And once my hair started coming out she made a joke at school pick-up once, calling a friend over to show her she could pull clumps 
of my hair out. They would rub my head and tell me 
how much they liked how 
it felt without hair. They've kept me focused on what's important," she says.
When Mary was four treatments down, with 
12 to go. Image: Instagram
Mary was so concerned about catching COVID-19 
at one stage her oncologist asked her to consider giving up chemo to lessen her risk, but Holly inspired her to keep going.
"I think when you start something you should see it through," Holly told her mum.
It was a decision Mary doesn't regret.
"I just finished chemo two weeks ago, so that's a great milestone," she says.
"Now I start radiation. My earlier surgery got rid of all the tumours we know about, so the chemo and radiation is all an insurance policy. At the moment I'm confident in saying I'm cancer free. And now we just have to keep it that way – forever."
At the cancer centre the first day of Mary's treatment. Image: Instagram
The discovery of Mary's cancer, like with so many women, came out of the blue.
"It was just another ordinary Saturday afternoon when I noticed a reddish mark on my skin, felt it more closely, and found a lump," she explains.
"I immediately beat myself up over not having checked myself often enough – I have dense breasts, which are a known risk," Mary says.
"Hundreds of thousands 
of women have travelled this road before, and our medical care, our understanding of how to tackle the disease and the success rates now achievable have leapt ahead 
as a result," she says.
Something that's given 
Mary comfort throughout her ordeal is the opportunity to photograph the "amazing" people who rallied around her throughout her ordeal, from her kids to neighbours who dropped in food and supplies and the wonderful health workers she encountered.
As for Hugh, it is clear his admiration for his wife is endless.
"Ernest Hemingway said that courage is defined as grace under pressure. And what I've seen in Mary in these last few months is not a great surprise to me, but it's remarkable all the same."
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