If you’re wondering where Tara Moss gets her strength and determination from – the answer is her late-mother, Janni Moss, who passed away from cancer when she was 43. At the time, Tara was just 16 years old and says it was the biggest turning point in her life.
“The way my mum coped with the lot she’d been given, the way she responded with such bravery and courage – she taught me a lot about life. She made me aspire to be a person who would not get knocked down by the world,” Tara said.
For several years she watched her mother battle with multiple myeloma – cancer of the plasma cells. The disease causes anemia, severe bone pain, fatigue and renal failure.
Her mother was one of the first 100 patients in the world to have the disease treated with a bone marrow transplant. The risk of the experimental treatment was death – but the alternative was also death. Tara says the procedures were torturous for her mother.
“I’m not sure that if I was in her situation I could undergo that kind of thing. All I know is that whatever decision a person makes about their health – about what type of treatment they’re able to handle or what they are wiling to put themselves through – it’s a decision that should be respected,” she said.
Tara Moss has achieved many amazing things in the years that have followed the tragic loss of her mother. She has travelled around the world as an international model, she has published nine bestselling books and become a spokesperson and advocate for a range of foundations and organisations.
Amidst the highs, there have been some terrible lows – including incidents of physical and sexual assault, failed marriages and miscarriages. When it comes to her fighting spirit – her will to carry on – Tara says her mother has been with her each and every step of the way.
“I’m one of those people who, if kicked, doesn’t just curl up on the ground in a little ball. I get up again – or kick back!” Tara said.
In a blog that Tara wrote on Mother’s Day in 2012 she said:
I confess that Mother’s Day still holds a touch of sadness for me, but in time I have learned to celebrate my mum on this day and not simply mourn her loss. Now that I am a mother myself, I feel closer to her and I am even more grateful for the life, love and lessons she gave me. She’s there in my daughter’s smile and even in my own reflection as I grow older. I sense her in the decisions I make, in my outlook on life. The truth is, though some mums leave us too soon, they are never truly gone. They leave a lasting legacy.
Tara Moss is an author, journalist, TV presenter and human rights advocate. Since 1999 she has written 10 bestselling books, published in 19 countries and 13 languages, including the acclaimed Mak Vanderwall crime fiction series and the Pandora English series. Her first non-fiction book, the critically acclaimed The Fictional Woman, was published in 2014 and became a number one national non-fiction bestseller, and her iconic cover design, featuring her face labeled with ‘fictions’ or stereotypes about women won Best Non-Fiction Book Design at the Australia Book Design Awards in 2015 with HarperCollins Publishers. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Sydney, and has earned her private investigator credentials (Cert III) from the Australian Security Academy.
Moss is an outspoken advocate for the rights of women and children. She has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2007 and as of 2013 is UNICEF Australia’s National Ambassador for Child Survival, and has visited Australian hospitals, maternity wards and schools as well as Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon in her UNICEF role.
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