This year, to raise awareness of the Dry July campaign and the CoastCanCare wellness program, CoastCanCare is running therapeutic art workshops where radiation oncology patients and their carers, friends and family will have the opportunity to create artworks out of their radiation oncology masks. This will culminate in a unique exhibition titled “Masks Unveiled” to be displayed in Gosford Hospital’s main foyer from 1 July through to September.
Radiation oncology masks are made of mesh and moulded to the patient’s face help to accurately target treatment areas and protect patients during radiotherapy for head and neck cancer.
CoastCanCare Program Coordinator Tia Covi said the masks symbolise something different for each patient.
“The art workshops and exhibition will aim to be a therapeutic and healing exercise, providing an outlet to express patients’ personal experiences,” she said.
Ms Covi said art therapy was just one of the free wellness activities offered by CoastCanCare.
“Other sessions include tai chi, music therapy and exercise groups which all have a strong focus on the importance of self-care, relaxation, mindfulness, support and connectedness during a difficult time in people’s lives,” she said.
“There are also sessions that offer practical advice such as the legal and financial services workshop which equips and empowers people with important information they need to know.”
Ms Covi said the popular CoastCanCare program would not be able to keep having such a positive impact without the support of the local community through the annual Dry July appeal.
“It is wonderful to see the benefits of CoastCanCare for locals living with cancer and we want to continue offering this valuable wellness and recovery program in the future,” she said.
“We are therefore extremely grateful for the Central Coast community’s involvement and generosity in taking on the Dry July challenge and getting behind this great cause.