IT takes a special person to be a nurse. And it takes a special nurse to be involved in cancer care.
But the Sunshine Coast's Cathy Apelt is one of those special people.
Like most teens at age 17, Cathy was wondering what to do with her life when her parents suggested she try nursing.
Cathy says she has never regretted the choice that her young self made.
Years later, after experience with all different types of cancer and working as a Lifeline volunteer phone counsellor, she saw an advertisement asking for breast-care nurses in the McGrath Foundation - co-founded by Australian cricket champion Glenn McGrath's late wife Jane.
"They advertised positions and I applied," Cathy said.
"I have a background in cancer care and was interested in being a part of more specialised support for those with breast cancer."
Now Cathy has been honoured in the book Take My Hand by another Sunshine Coast resident, Jo Wiles.
The book is a moving tribute not only to Jane McGrath's enduring legacy but also a celebration of the McGrath Foundation's 10th anniversary next month.
Cathy is just one of 105 McGrath specialist breast-care nurses across Australia who provide invaluable physical, psychological and emotional support from the time of a patient's diagnosis and throughout treatment.
In Take My Hand, she features with some of her charges, highlighting the strong bonds that can form between nurses and their patients.
The respect, appreciation and high esteem her patients have for her is evident from their comments in the book.
One breast cancer sufferer, Debbie Lee, described Cathy as a psychic as she seemed to have a sixth sense to call when she was needed the most.
"I wouldn't say that I'm psychic," Cathy laughed.
"I just know they're all going through hard times and I am there for them after they've gone through a hard day of chemo.
"I'm honoured to be there for them during those times."
Cathy's main goal is to connect with people.
She particularly strives to care for those who have no support, or those who are particularly vulnerable.
It's a long and hard journey for those diagnosed with cancer, and those assisting cancer sufferers in that journey need to be calm and as supportive as possible.
"It's important to have balance," Cathy said. "I exercise and do different things to help stay centred, so I can be there for people."
Dealing with the sadness that constantly haunts sufferers requires a great amount of understanding.
"I'm not sure if it's just nursing, but it's important to have a grasp of life and death," Cathy said.
"It's something we can't control."
At the end of the day, Cathy is just happy she can connect with these people and help them through their struggles.
"I feel honoured and privileged to be working in the area I love and to be able to reach out to people when they need someone," she said
"Love what I do"