Wanting to spend time with her family rather than work, Donna Penny says she has to sell her house because she has been refused her superannuation.

"I want to travel, take my kids to Bali, but time isn't on my side" ... Donna Perry Photo: Warren Lynam

A brave mother diagnosed with terminal cancer is being forced to sell the family home because she can't get access to her super benefits.

Donna Penny, 40, of Warana, thought she had beaten the breast cancer she was diagnosed with at 35.

But she went for a check-up because of persistent niggling pain in her back and was told the cancer had spread throughout her bones and lymph nodes.

Last week she had to explain to her seven-year-old son that mummy's sick again and this is going to make mummy go to heaven".

"They have given me anywhere between one to five years to live," Mrs Penny said.

The dental nurse wants to spend her last precious moments with her family instead of at work.

But when she contacted her superannuation fund, Hesta, she was told she could not access the benefits until she had less than 12 months to live.

A Hesta spokeswoman said it was merely complying with federal legislation.

This states that Terminal Illness Benefit can only be released when a person has been diagnosed as likely to die in "not more than 12 months after the date of the certification".

Nor can Mrs Penny get her sickness allowance until after three months.

"I have two sons, aged 18 and seven, that's what breaks my heart - and two beautiful stepdaughters," she said.

"My poor husband. The mortgage is just too big for us with me not working.

"I want to travel, take my kids to Bali, but time isn't on my side."

Mrs Penny also wants to warn other young women diagnosed with hormone-receptive breast cancer - the most common form - to ensure they do what they can to stop their menstrual cycles as well.

"I strongly believe any woman who goes through hormone positive breast cancer and their cycle starts again needs to speak to an oncologist and doctor about ovarian suppression," she said.

"I understand many don't want to because they want to have children, but look what has happened to me."

The family has been encouraged by the support of the community. Volunteers have offered to help do a clean-up before the Pennys put the house on the market.

Their real estate agents, Minka Jenkins and Robyn Williams from Next Property Group Minyama, have promised to donate the commission on the sale to the family.

"If I had that Super money, I probably would not have to sell my house," Mrs Penny said

The cancer charity Beautiful You is also helping with fundraising efforts. Any one interested in getting involved can contact Debbie Clayton on 0409 480 250.