Central Coast LHD - CoastCanCare

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"CoastCanCare provides vital programs which help people connect and provide each other with encouragement. It makes you want to keep living and beat the odds" - Wendy, CoastCanCare participant.

Central Coast Local Health District’s CoastCanCare Wellness Program has been a proud beneficiary of the annual Dry July campaign since 2013.

Thanks to the generosity of those that commit to raising funds for us and Foundation grants, we continue to provide support, care and assistance to adults living with cancer on the Central Coast. CoastCanCare provides valuable wellbeing and recovery tools – free of charge – to cancer patients, their families and carers on the Central Coast. Information, education and support helps patients and carers to develop skills for coping with a cancer diagnosis, treatments and treatment side effects, such as fatigue, pain and anxiety.

Art therapy, drumming, legal and financial workshops, self-care Saturdays and “Look Good Feel Better” are just some of the face to face programs designed to equip those attending with the tools to stick with their treatment plan with the best possible outcomes and to manage their health and wellbeing at the end of their care.

Friendships and connections are established and continue long after CoastCanCare participation. And while face to face interactions may not always be possible, the CoastCanCare team continue with essential services including regular telephone and email contact with all participants, maintaining connection and a friendly voice during difficult times.

We are grateful to Dry July for continuing to include CoastCanCare in the annual Appeal. With your support, in turn we will continue to support our community.

As a “Dry Julyer” two things happen; not only do you have the opportunity to help local cancer patients – maybe a neighbour or relative – but 31 days without alcohol could also improve your own general health and wellbeing. Nominate Central Coast Local Health District’s CoastCanCare to ensure money raised stays on the Coast to benefit the local community.

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“CoastCanCare provides vital programs which help people connect and provide each other with encouragement."

Central Coast Local Health District’s CoastCanCare wellness program is a local beneficiary of the national Dry July campaign, with donations helping to fund free wellbeing and recovery activities for cancer patients, their families and carers.

Wendy of Killarney Vale is one of many who has experienced CoastCanCare and felt better for it, after a lung cancer diagnosis in 2016.

“In the first year it kept me going. You look forward to talking to other people and learning from them and what they might be doing to help with their cancers and different ways of approaching things,” she said.

Wendy has taken part in a range of CoastCanCare’s programs including art therapy, tai chi, meditation, physiotherapy, Aboriginal basket weaving and drumming and in doing so built a network of friends who are there for one another through their individual cancer journeys.

“We give each other encouragement and give new members encouragement too. Being around people who have had similar experiences to you can have a big influence”.

Six years on from her initial diagnosis Wendy believes the wellness program is a big part of why she is still here today.

“CoastCanCare provides vital programs which help people connect and provide each other with encouragement. It makes you want to keep living and beat the odds,” said Wendy.

By signing up to Dry July and giving up alcohol next month, not only will you experience a range of benefits like sleeping better and thinking clearer, you can help people like Wendy find the support and strength they need to fight cancer.

For media enquiries contact Sarah Forster on 0414 193 308 or [email protected]

Your Dry July fundraising means the CoastCanCare Wellness program can continue supporting people affected by cancer

Thank you for participating in the 2021 Dry July Appeal and choosing to support our CoastCanCare Wellness Program.

The last two years have been challenging for many people and for those with cancer in our community having CoastCanCare available to them – either face to face or virtually - has helped “coasties” living with cancer and their families to navigate their treatment and care.

CoastCanCare also empowers, skills and connects people to take control of their own health, wellbeing, happiness and life away from the hospital system – to engage and connect with each other and their community.

Your support makes a positive and tangible difference to the lives of people living with cancer.

Breast Cancer survivor, Carol, feels supported and connected through CCLHD’s CoastCanCare wellness program

Breast cancer survivor Carol, of Umina Beach says CoastCanCare has helped her through one of the hardest times of her life.

“I started doing one of their exercise classes with the goal to just regain my fitness as quickly as possible after treatment and from there I met some lovely people and got into tai chi and meditation and art therapy,” she said.

“CoastCanCare has got me back to work, it’s got me motivated and thinking positively.”

Carol said the emotional support provided by CoastCanCare was invaluable to her.

“It’s been essential for me as I went through my diagnosis and treatment alone as I didn’t have family close by so CoastCanCare offered that support,” she said.

“You have a medical team to take care of your body but CoastCanCare takes care of your mind.”

Carol said she has made some great companions through CoastCanCare.

“Everybody there knows the horror of diagnosis, the horror of treatment and difficulty thinking about the future – but we don’t talk about that. We are all there for each other and have an unspoken support for each other,” she said.

“It sounds like a miserable group of people being a support program for people living with cancer – but it is quite the opposite. Nobody is miserable. We are out getting along and having a good time.

“Cancer isn’t fun but CoastCanCare is about coming together and having fun. I truly would have been lost without it.”

Dry July 2020 funds support the continuation of CoastCanCare’s Wellness Program

Thanks to the incredible efforts of Dry July participants, CoastCanCare’s Wellness Program will be supported.

The Wellness Programs held at Central Coast LHD aim to improve patient's and carer's wellbeing by providing information, education, and support services. The development of these vital skills can assist in developing skills for coping with a cancer diagnosis, treatments, and treatment side effects, such as fatigue, pain, and anxiety.

Interview with Dr Andrew Kerr on ABC Central Coast

“I lost my life partner of over 50 years to cancer two years ago. Keeping in contact with the CoastCanCare walking group in the months immediately following my wife’s death allowed me to successfully transition from carer and husband to being on my own for the first time in 50 years.

“The inspiration drawn from other participants in the various CoastCanCare programs has enabled me to move from a world of potential darkness towards the light. The two art programs I attended, one pre and one post my wife’s death, were the two most personally beneficial programs I have ever attended. We met people with all types of cancers, at different stages, of different ages, and in different life circumstances. What came out of people’s art was astounding. The examples of personal courage were truly inspiring. Art really does help people release what may be suppressed; it helps to get it out. 

“The programs are an extremely important part of allowing patients and their carers to take charge of very challenging circumstances. It’s not going to cure anyone, but it definitely makes that period of treatment so much easier.” 

- Dr Andrew Kerr, participant in the CoastCanCare wellness program, talks live on ABC Central Coast on Monday, June 29. 

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