Three-time Canadian Country Music Award nominees Twin Kennedy aren’t just known for their music, which comprises identical twins Carli and Julie on guitar and violin, sharing equal singing and songwriting duties, but also for Julie’s inspirational, open journey with breast cancer.
Julie revealed her diagnosis in mid-December 2022, describing her shock at having an “aggressive form of invasive ductal carcinoma”. Thinking that her muscle was inflamed after playing six-hour rehearsals with Carli, the inflammation didn’t disappear. After numerous appointments, scans, mammograms, ultrasounds, and biopsies, Julie discovered she had stage two breast cancer and promptly started chemotherapy.
“I started chemo on Monday [12 December], and my doctors expect 6-8 months of chemotherapy followed by surgery and radiation to make this cancer go away,” she wrote on Facebook. “I feel like it’s something I can’t and don’t want to keep a secret. This next year is going to be so challenging, and I hope there is some good that will come from sharing my journey.”
Her post was flooded with positive, well-wishing comments from fans, friends, and families, and was the first in a series of cancer updates. After her first week of chemotherapy, Julie returned with another update, informing everyone that she was “feeling pretty ok so far (exhausted… sore… scared… but also ok.)”
In late January, Julie revealed that she had spent the holiday season in the ER after she ended up covered in hives – a reaction to treatment for her cancer. In April, four months into her chemotherapy journey, Julie posted a picture of her chemotherapy chair, telling fans that she had found “some sense of normal in this season of life that is so far from it.”
Two months later, Julie posted great news, revealing that she and her fiancé Rusty had gotten married. “Soon after I’d gotten my breast cancer diagnosis, we started talking about getting married sooner than planned,” she wrote in late June. “We knew we wanted to be husband and wife through this journey.”
In her latest cancer update, shared yesterday, Julie made a reel of her treatment so far – the highs and lows while undergoing chemotherapy as she embarks on surgery. “Tomorrow I take the next big step in my cancer journey - it’s surgery time,” she wrote in a lengthy caption accompanying the reel. “I’m grateful that chemo did its job - it shrunk my tumor [sic] to be tiny enough (the size of a pinky nail!) that I can get just the lump removed from my body.”
Julie wrote that she kept all of her fair until the final chemo day but began losing it rapidly after finishing chemotherapy. “Although this journey isn’t even close to being done (radiation will be up next after surgery!), I am definitely celebrating the fact that I will be done the next step at this time tomorrow,” she continued. “When I was looking at the calendar back in December and processing the idea of 6 months of chemo treatments ahead of me, I couldn’t picture this moment. It felt so far away… and now here we are!
“I’m incredibly thankful for all of the support and love that has helped me get here. I CAN DO THIS! I will be starting surgery at 10am tomorrow, so please send me your good vibes, prayers, love, all the things!”
On behalf of the Countrytown community, we’re giving Julie Kennedy our best wishes and look forward to seeing the next positive update in her journey.