Celebrity News

Alysha speaks out for love

The Bachelor TV star Alysha Brown shows her fighting spirit.

By Louise Richardson
The last few months of 2014 were notable in many ways for The Bachelor contestant Alysha Brown (26) of Invercargill and her family. Deciding to enter the show was momentous in itself for the aspiring reality TV star, she admits.
“I’d been wondering about it, and one morning at 2am, when I couldn’t sleep, I went online, filled out the application and then tried to put it right out of my mind. I think that I’m an ‘acquired taste’ – and I wasn’t sure if they’d want me!”
In fact, the show’s producers were very interested in the bubbly, blonde English teacher, who soon got the call to head north to Auckland. Back in town, the birth of her twin brother Brenton’s baby daughter Tazmyn was another reason for celebration. But something else was going on too – something that wasn’t good news for Alysha’s aunt Lyn Adamson.
“I found a lump in my breast at the end of November and had a lumpectomy,” says Lyn, “but it had already spread to my lymph nodes. Alysha was having such an exciting time, I didn’t want to spoil it for her, so her mum, who is my sister Coral, and I kept it quiet.”
Alysha says she had “no idea” things were so serious until she arrived in Southland for her “hometown date” with the show’s star Art Green.
Alysha with one of her favourite males, her best boy Brax.
“I noticed Mum was teary when she dropped me off for filming,” recalls Alysha. “It turned out that everyone else knew, even the production crew. I wondered if I should be going ahead with the show but she said that I must.”
Alysha and Lyn (46) have always been super-close.
“In many ways, we are like sisters,” says Lyn. “Yes, Lyn was always my go-to person for a wine and a moan!” Alysha confirms.
As her aunt had further surgery and prepared for chemotherapy, filming for The Bachelor rolled on until Alysha was eliminated – having made it into the final three women vying for businessman Art’s heart. After returning to Invercargill, the enormity of her aunt’s situation hit home. Determined to help her beat cancer, Alysha threw herself into raising money for Lyn, launching a Givealittle fundraising page.
“She was a gardener, but of course she can’t work at the moment,” Alysha explains.
Lyn has been keeping herself as fit and strong as she can with a refined sugar-free diet of organic fruit and vegetables.
“It’s expensive,” she says. “But I’ve had wonderful support from Tanya at the Wellness Hub, a cold-pressed beverage and wellness company, who has been providing me with juice, and the ladies from Southern City Church who deliver lovely food for my partner Rob and our son Samuel, who is eight. When my hair fell out and I wore a beanie, Sam simply said, ‘You look cute, Mum.’”
Alysha also supported Lyn as she attended a Look Good, Feel Better workshop at the local Cancer Society headquarters.
“I thought I might learn how to do Lyn’s make-up for her, but it turned out to be much more than that,” Alysha says. “Each lady had her own make-up artist and Lyn’s was working from a questionnaire that she’d filled out. They had already chosen cosmetics to match her complexion.”
Alysha has been providing a shoulder for her aunt Lyn to lean on.
Lyn says she has been overwhelmed by the kindness she has encountered.
“Of course there are days when I feel down, but then something positive will happen. I like to think of what I’m going through as one of the seasons in my life and I feel confident that it will end – I’ll get my zest back and things will be good again.”
As Lyn faces her next challenge – a round of radiotherapy – Alysha has been relief teaching at James Hargest High School. But she’s also open to a future that involves more work in the public eye.
“The Bachelor has given me a platform and I want to use it positively. With Lyn going through cancer, I feel that I should draw attention to that and try to increase awareness.”
And, of course, there’s still the possibility of love.
“I know that the perfect man will find me if I’m in the right place at the right time.”
“But he’d better look after you,” Lyn chimes in. “You deserve nothing but the best.”
Both Alysha and Lyn feel confident that brighter days are just around the corner.
“I’m truly blessed having such a close family who love me so much,” says Lyn.
To help Alysha’s aunt Lyn, visit [givealittle.co.nz] (https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/alyshabrown/)