The countdown is on for Dry July with the Central Coast community joining together for an alcohol-free month in support of local cancer patients.
The Central Coast Local Health District’s (CCLHD) CoastCanCare Wellness Program has been a beneficiary of the Dry July initiative for the past five years, helping make a real difference to the lives of adults diagnosed with cancer across the region, as well as carers and families.
Complementary therapies such as music, exercise and tai chi classes are offered as part of the program and focus on stress and pain management during a difficult time in people’s lives.
Claire Job, 34, was diagnosed with metastatic thyroid cancer almost two years ago and has found the CoastCanCare Wellness Program extremely helpful and rewarding.
Ms Job has enjoyed exercise and tai chi classes for the past 18 months and is looking forward to starting music and art therapy sessions in the coming weeks.
“Receiving a cancer diagnosis is often an overwhelming, isolating, challenging and life-changing time,” Ms Job said.
“The CoastCanCare Wellness Program has provided my family, friends and I a place of peace, comfort, support, encouragement, respite and a sense of normality during an otherwise unfamiliar time.
“I was looking for anything to help overcome my feelings of fear, confusion and isolation. I was suddenly facing my own mortality, realising how fragile life can be and how quickly it can all change.
“I have learnt so much about myself and my diagnosis whilst gaining new and positive strategies around sleep, relaxation, nutrition, exercise and pain management.
“Words cannot describe the amazing and rewarding benefits of the program – not only for the patient, but also for family, friends and carers.”
CoastCanCare Wellness Program coordinator Tia Covi encouraged Central Coast residents to get behind the Dry July initiative which continues to support many people affected by cancer.
"Every day I see first-hand the benefits the CoastCanCare Wellness Program is having on Central Coast adults diagnosed with cancer like Claire,” Ms Covi said.
“Ultimately our aim is to assist people to optimise their quality of life; to set and achieve their goals and priorities; to live their best life regardless of a cancer diagnosis.
We do this by engaging therapists to work with people in group settings. This enables participants to connect with, support and learn from each other, as well as the therapist.
“Participants who have attended our programs have reported feeling less stressed and anxious and more connected, supported and skilled to promote their own health and wellbeing.”
This year, Dry July participants and their supporters can once again nominate the District’s CoastCanCare Wellness Program as their beneficiary, ensuring their fundraising dollar remains on the Coast to benefit local cancer patients.
Sign-ups for 2017 are now open.
Visit www.dryjuly.com to register to participate or to make a donation to a team or team member and be sure to nominate the ‘Central Coast Local Health District’s CoastCanCare Wellness Program’ as the beneficiary to ensure donations stay on the Coast.