MasterChef’s Shannon Martinez reveals her breast cancer diagnosis

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MasterChef celebrity guest judge Shannon Martinez is battling a rare form of breast cancer. 

Shannon, 38, who caused a stir among viewers for being a ‘vegan chef who eats meat’, shared her heartbreaking diagnosis via Instagram on Saturday. 

Uploading a confronting photo of herself shaving off her hair, the Melbourne restauranteur revealed she is battling triple-negative breast cancer, a term referring to cases where the three receptors that are commonly found in breast cancer tumours are not present. 

Heartbreaking: MasterChef celebrity guest judge Shannon Martinez, 38, revealed she is battling a rare form of breast cancer on Saturday

Heartbreaking: MasterChef celebrity guest judge Shannon Martinez, 38, revealed she is battling a rare form of breast cancer on Saturday

‘Gang, it’s time I share some news with you all. Unfortunately I have been diagnosed with ‘Triple Negative Breast Cancer’ which is an uncommon diagnosis,’ she began her caption, explaining that she’s preparing to join a trial treatment of combined immunotherapy and double chemotherapy. 

‘Currently, the side effects are causing days on end with no sleep and very little energy but I feel that a lifetime of working punishingly long hours in hospitality has weirdly prepared me for chemo,’ she continued. 

After coming to terms with the ‘initial shock’ of her diagnosis, the chef decided to turn her battle into something more positive.  

Diagnosis: The Melbourne restauranteur (pictured wearing a headscarf following chemotherapy treatment) said she is battling triple-negative breast cancer, a term referring to cases where the three receptors that are commonly found in breast cancer tumours are not present

Diagnosis: The Melbourne restauranteur (pictured wearing a headscarf following chemotherapy treatment) said she is battling triple-negative breast cancer, a term referring to cases where the three receptors that are commonly found in breast cancer tumours are not present

‘I’ve decided to use my experience and trade to help others also undergoing cancer treatment to face their challenges along the way in the form of two literary projects,’ she explained.  

Shannon revealed she’s writing a cookbook called Cooking with Chemo. For You & Your Squad, which will follow her journey ‘from start to finish, the ups and downs of this s**tshow and everything in-between.’ 

She will also be releasing a comic book titled The Adventures of Chuck and her Bubble of Trouble. 

Sharing her journey: Shannon revealed she's writing a cookbook called Cooking with Chemo. For You & Your Squad

Sharing her journey: Shannon revealed she’s writing a cookbook called Cooking with Chemo. For You & Your Squad 

Proceeds of the book sales will go towards cancer research.   

‘Due to COVID-19 restrictions and my compromised immune system, I am unable to leave the house, so what better time to use than now for myself and for others?’ she wrote.

Shannon went on to thank the ‘rockstar’ staff working at her restaurants Smith & Daughters’ and ‘Smith & Deli for ‘holding down the fort’ while she is stuck at home.  

Health battle: Shannon, who runs the vegan restaurant Smith & Daughters in Melbourne, said she has been forced to stay at home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic due to her compromised immune system. Pictured in 2019 with Duncan Balwood

Health battle: Shannon, who runs the vegan restaurant Smith & Daughters in Melbourne, said she has been forced to stay at home throughout the COVID-19 pandemic due to her compromised immune system. Pictured in 2019 with Duncan Balwood

Ending on a positive note, Shannon wrote: ‘I want to thank you all for your continued support during this wild time, if not for you, the doors may have shut long ago. WE WILL SURVIVE THIS, bigger and better! See you all soon.’  

In May, Shannon received some backlash on after appearing on MasterChef Australia to host a vegan challenge.

Judge Melissa Leong pointed out the fact that Shannon is a meat eater, which caused her to awkwardly respond: ‘No. I’m not [vegan]. Shock, horror. But I think that lends itself to sort of why I make the food that I make, you know?’

'I'm coming at vegan food from a non-vegan perspective, I guess': In May, Shannon received some backlash on after appearing on MasterChef Australia to host a vegan challenge, despite not being vegan herself

‘I’m coming at vegan food from a non-vegan perspective, I guess’: In May, Shannon received some backlash on after appearing on MasterChef Australia to host a vegan challenge, despite not being vegan herself

‘I’m coming at vegan food from a non-vegan perspective, I guess. Understanding mouthfeel, textures, flavours.’ 

However, many fans thought it was odd for a chef who specialises in vegan cuisine not to actually be vegan.

‘It really unsettles me that the owner of Smith & Daughters isn’t vegan,’ Tweeted one viewer, while another added: ‘A vegan chef that isn’t vegan? What is she doing with her life?  

Confession: Many fans thought it was odd for a chef who specialises in vegan cuisine not to actually be vegan

Confession: Many fans thought it was odd for a chef who specialises in vegan cuisine not to actually be vegan

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