She has never smoked a cigarette or drank alcohol in her life, but for Nari Sinclair, the effects of passive smoking have caused her to suffer a life of debilitating health issues.
Nari, a Ngarrindjeri woman, 35 of Modbury, suffers from severe type 2 diabetes and breathing difficulties. She has also undergone a kidney transplant and survived lung cancer.
Every time Nari, a mother of three children, is rushed to hospital, the first question doctors ask is: ‘How many cigarettes do you smoke a day?’
“The doctors never believe me when I tell them that I have never smoked or drank in my life,” she said.
“Three years ago I was diagnosed with lung cancer, but today I am cancer free after having two spots removed from my lungs.”
At the tender age of 12, Nari gave up school to care for her grandfather, a chronic smoker, who had been diagnosed with cancer.
“We all grew up in the same house and all of my family smoked,” she said.
“I suppose back then it was the norm and no one knew the health risks.
“I remember the house was always littered with cigarette butts and was clouded with smoke.
“I did everything for my grandfather, but the cancer eventually spread to his bones and then he was gone.”
Nari believes her ill health was caused by passive smoking whilst growing up. But today she is a strong role model for her children and passionate about protecting them from her own fate.
“I let no one smoke in the house or anywhere around my children,” she said.
“And no matter what, I will encourage all of my children to complete school. Education is important and I regret not being able to have that chance.”