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Dry July Foundation

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You can make a difference to people affected by cancer by supporting the Dry July Foundation. Money raised will go to organisations across Australia which offer cancer support and treatment services. Funds are awarded following a grant application round in late October each year. Grant recipients may include small regional hospitals, metropolitan hospitals, and not-for-profit organisations. For more information please email [email protected]

Latest Updates

$4 million distributed in the Dry July Foundation 2018 Grant Program

We’re thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2018 Dry July Foundation Grant Program. 

The money for the Grant Program was raised by Dry July 2018 participants, who elected to fundraise for the Dry July Foundation as part of their alcohol-free month.

In October, the Dry July Foundation invited cancer support organisations to apply for a grant. Each grant application was capped at $50,000, however organisations could apply for more than one grant.

We received an incredible 171 grant applications from 65 organisations across Australia, totalling over $6.4m. With $4.1m available from this year’s Dry July, we were able to award funding to 138 projects.

Since 2008, the Dry July Foundation has funded more than 1,200 projects for 80 cancer support organisations across Australia.

Congratulations to this year’s Grant Program recipients:

National 

Beyond Five

• Eating Well with Head and Neck Cancer Animations, to educate people through listening and watching, not through reading or writing. This is particularly relevant for head and neck cancer with incidence rates 58% higher in low socioeconomic areas where literacy levels are poor compared to high socioeconomic areas.

Breast Cancer Network Australia

• Breast Cancer Network Australia Podcast Project to empower breast cancer patients to listen to topics relevant to their diagnosis and or interest where and when it suits them

• An online, evidence-based education resource to guide the physical rehabilitation of women before and after breast reconstructive surgery

Cancer Patients Foundation and Look Good Feel Better

• Additional confidence boosting Look Good Feel Better workshops, held nationally across 239 venues for those dealing with the effects of chemotherapy

Fight Cancer Foundation

• First Aid Kits including a defribulator machine, room first aid kits and infra-red thermometers for cancer patients and their families staying at Fight Cancer Foundation's BMDI Rotary House accommodation centre

Leukaemia Foundation

• National Patient Transport Program to continue providing transport to and from medical appointments. The service currently drives more than one million kilometres each year to ensure people get the medicines they need to beat their blood cancer.

• Upgrade of the Leukaemia Foundation Village’s for People Living with Blood Cancers

• Purchase of Patient Transport Vehicle

McGrath Foundation

• An additional McGrath Breast Care Nurse in Sydney, supporting more families experiencing cancer

Myeloma Australia

• Expansion of Myeloma Australia's Patient Support Group Program to provide information, support and opportunities for the myeloma community.

Ovarian Cancer Australia

• Younger Women's Project: a new program for younger women to fill the gap in support services available to Australian women under 50 who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Prostate Cancer Foundation

• Providing men with life-changing access to a Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse

Redkite

• Redkite’s Education and Career Support Program: professional and experienced consultants who empower young adults with cancer to understand their skills and strengths, reconnect with their education and career pathways and develop plans so they can build their best possible futures after cancer.

The OTIS Foundation

• Retreats for breast cancer patients and their families, to provide some relief to those who are dealing with the challenges a cancer diagnosis brings, including significant social, emotional, psychological, physical and practical challenges.


Australian Capital Territory

Canberra Hospital  

• A Scalp Cooling Cap for use during chemotherapy, aimed at reducing the side-effect of hair loss cause by chemotherapy

• Newspapers & Magazines subscription for Duffy House and the Cancer Centre

• Water and Ice Station to make patients more comfortable during treatment

• Refurbishment of patient waiting areas to create a pleasant, non-clinical environment to conduct chemotherapy/stem cell collection and transplant education sessions for new patients.

Cancer Council ACT

• Cancer Information Booklets to provide information about specific cancers, diagnosis, treatment, side effects of treatment and life after cancer


New South Wales

Blacktown and Mount Druitt

• Children’s Play Area, to provide a safe space for patient's families to spend whilst their parent/caregiver/family member is undergoing treatment

Calvary Mater Hospital, Newcastle

• Upgrades to the Day Treatment Centre including new seating for the waiting are, and new treatment chairs for patients

• Scarves and Turbans for oncology patients to help maintain their identity, dignity, and confidence following hair loss.

• L-Dex ImpediMed Device to help identify lymphoedema in breast cancer patients

• Videos to provide education and information to patients, carers and the public about cancer treatment at the hospital

Camden and Campbelltown

• Patient Orientation Project to provide information about the Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centre including medical services provided, parking for patients, billings, pharmacy costs, clinical trials and accessing patient transport when undergoing treatment

Cancer Council NSW

• An informational podcast series for patients, exploring the clinical, practical, physical and emotional concerns of for people experiencing advanced cancer.

• Survivorship webinars focused on addressing survivorship issues and helping patients and carers adjust to life after cancer.

• Telephone-based support for cancer survivors to help to reduce their stress levels, improve diet and exercise and reduce their risk of cancer recurrence for some cancers

• Accommodation Upgrades at Lilier Lodge in Wagga Wagga

• ENRICHing Survivorship: a free, group-based program, introducing cancer survivors to important nutrition information, gentle physical activity, and key information about adjusting to life after cancer

• Information Resources for people affected by blood cancer; the production and print of three information booklets: Understanding Myeloma, Understanding Acute Leukaemia, and Understanding Hodgkin Lymphoma. These resources will be available in print and online.

• Expand Cancer Council Information Services in to three new hospitals, and also refurbish existing services in two locations

Cancer Wellness Support - Blue Mountains and Penrith

• Four ‘Living & Thriving’ three-day programs, to assist patients to look at ways to overcome the challenges of cancer and develop personal cancer care choices

Central Coast LHD - CoastCanCare

• CoastCanCare Wellness Program, providing information, practical tools and support to promote wellness for adult cancer patients in the Central Coast local community.

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

• ICU chairs, providing acutely unwell and severely deconditioned patients with access to supportive and comfortable seating

• ICU Waiting Room Refurbishment including a new kitchenette and shower facilities, to accommodate carers with family members in the ICU

• Complementary Therapy Inpatient Program, providing free access to massage, reflexology and other complementary therapies for patients and their carers

• Power Plate Vibration Trainer to add to the programme of the exercise physiologists for patient recovery

Concord Cancer Centre

• Patient Check-in Kiosks to ensure that patients waiting for clinic appointments and treatments will be kept updated of any delays/updates

• Physical wellness program as part of the Surviorship program, including yoga, pilates, tai chi, and medical qigong classes

Liverpool Cancer Therapy Centre

• Supportive Program Manager, responsible for the continuation of programs at the Wellness Centre

• Creative Legacy Program to create legacy artworks with patients and families in Palliative Care

• HiMed Cockpit Chairside Patient Entertainment Tablets for patients to access the internet for cancer information, entertainment through Wifi, gain access to Promp Surveys for improved patient outcomes and access to a Multilingual app

Moruya District Hospital

• ‘Connections’ Group, a program that presents topics that address the patient/carer’s health and wellbeing and psychological functioning, including information and discussion on nutrition, emotions, exercise, financial support, coping strategies and pain and symptom management

Nepean Cancer Care Centre, Penrith

• Exercise Program for Autologous Bone Marrow Transplantation (ABMT) patients, before, during and after a transplant, reducing fatigue, emotional and physical decline in patients

• Pressure Relieving Equipment so patients can be discharged earlier and be more comfortable at home

• Refurbishment of Radiation Therapy patient room including new lounges, paintings and chairs for the patient interview room, to make it a more comfortable and relaxed environment

NICM Health Research Institute

• Supportive Care at the Westmead precinct of the Western Sydney Integrative Health (WSIH) centre: offering massage, acupuncture and yoga as supportive care to patients with cancer who may not typically be able to access these services due to financial constraints

Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia

• Music Therapy at Illawarra Cancer Care Centre and Shoalhaven Cancer Care Centre, using live and interactive music to support patients as they receive treatment for cancer.

Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards

• Continuation of Relaxation and Meditation Program, where participants are taught essential relaxation and meditation skills to support them through their cancer journey

• New Chemotherapy chairs in the Chemotherapy Day Treatment Unit, to increase patient comfort and safety during treatment

Shoalhaven Cancer Care Centre

• “While You're Here” project: providing patients with reading materials and activities to distract and occupy them while waiting for appointments or during treatment

• Virtual Reality Patient Education for Radiation Therapy Patients, allowing patients and their carers to see how radiation works, what it will do to tumours, and what the treatment will look and sound like

St George Hospital

• Chemotherapy treatment chairs to improve the comfort of patients receiving chemotherapy

St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney

• Gift of Wellness Hardship Program, allowing patients experiencing hardship, to receive free complementary therapy treatments as part of their integrated care, to enhance their overall wellbeing

Sutherland Hospital

• Chemotherapy treatment chairs to improve the comfort of patients receiving chemotherapy

The Prince of Wales Hospital

• Fit out of Cancer Survivorship Centre with video-conferencing and AV/VC to run tele-health programs for patients accessing the Centre’s services by distance.

Westmead Hospital - The Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre

• Radiotherapy Waiting Room Refurbishment to make patients and their carers more comfortable while they wait for treatment

Wollongong Hospital

• “Reinvigorate Our Space” project: refurbishing the Main Reception of the Illawarra Cancer Care Centre, to provide a safe and calm environment that welcomes patients and houses them comfortably during one of the most stressful periods of their lives


Northern Territory

Cancer Council NT 

• Comfort and educational items at Alice Springs Hospital chemotherapy unit, such as iPads for patient use, a commissioned piece of indigenous artwork, coffee machine and digital thermometers

• Information Resource Booklets for patients to ensure they are getting appropriate and relevant information about their diagnosis and treatment

• ‘Tree of Life’ Wellness workshops, using art, music and storytelling to enable cancer patients to draw strength in difficult times

• Wig program extension: purchase a range of new wigs, to provide to patients experiencing hair loss as a result of their cancer treatment

• Counselling room upgrades to create a calm, welcoming and relaxed environment for patient interaction


Queensland

Bundaberg Heath Services Foundation

• Cancer Patient Transport, providing patients with access to transport to ensure they are able to attend their treatment appointments

Cancer Council Queensland

• Expanding the Transport to Treatment Program into more areas, in order to support more cancer patients across Queensland.

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation

• iSTAT for Mossman Hospital: a blood testing device allowing for accurate and timely diagnosis and treatment, often for injuries or illness at a patient’s bedside/point of care

• Remedial massage chair for Innisfail Hospital to provide comfort to patients who are receiving treatment for a substantial amount of time

• Vital Signs monitor for Atherton Hospital to significantly reduce the disturbance to patients

Mater Cancer Care Centre, Brisbane

• Nature scene wall wraps to enhance the surroundings of the cancer centre and help to lift the spirits of the patients

• Ward 10B Patient Lounge upgrades to give patients and their family members a private, non-clinical space

Mummy's Wish

• National Counselling Program: an online counselling program for mums with cancer and their families, to better manage the impact of her illness on their emotional wellbeing

The Wesley Hospital

• Expanding Complementary Therapy programs to allow more patients to access free therapy services at Choices Cancer Support Centre


South Australia

Cancer Council SA 

• Flinders Lodge room upgrades including new carpet and curtains in each room, new queen and single beds for guests, along with a new recliner and air conditioning to make guests’ stay more comfortable

• Metropolitan Cancer Council nurse outreach program, to engage face to face with people undergoing cancer treatment and their families where required, and refer them to the most appropriate Cancer Council SA support service

• Regional Nurse Program to ensure regional South Australians are aware of the services offered not only by Cancer Council, but also by the Government and other cancer related charities

The Mary Potter Foundation

• RESTORE Cancer Wellness Program at Calvary North Adelaide Hospital and Calvary Central Districts Hospital’s cancer centre. The program offers complementary therapy during treatment and educational workshops for people newly diagnosed with cancer.


Tasmania

Cancer Council Tasmania 

• Mindfulness Program to enhance physical, social and emotional wellbeing and support relationships of people affected by cancer

• Nutrition Program: 6 nutritional workshops for people in cancer survivorship and their carers

• Art Therapy program for young adults aged 18 - 25 year who have been impacted by their own diagnosis or through the cancer diagnosis of a significant other

• Pilates for Cancer Patients at Northern Cancer Support Centre, Launceston

• Upgrades to Southern Cancer Support Centre to provide a more conducive, practical and comfortable space for education, training and support programs

WP Holman Clinic

• Refurbishment of the Radiation Simulation area to include an interview room and changing area


Victoria

Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre 

• Continuation of wellness program including massage, yoga, Art Therapy, Financial Counselling, Shiatsu, Mindfulness, Delta Dog visits, Reiki and more

• Vital Signs Monitor to significantly reduce the disturbance to patients

Barwon Health's Andrew Love Cancer Centre, Geelong

• Therapy Programs including exercise therapy, a nutrition program and oncology massage

• Patient Bedside Entertainment System, to ensure the patient has access to the latest technology to watch TV, play games, listen to the radio, order food, send emails, surf the internet and video conference with doctors if needed

Bendigo Health

• Upgrades to Lucan Street cancer patient accommodation including new lighting and fittings, a new recliners for cancer patients, to make the accommodation more comfortable

Cancer Council Victoria

• ‘Now I can understand’: producing cancer information and support resources in multiple languages for Cancer Council’s most-used information resources including: What is cancer?, Coping with cancer fatigue, Caring for someone with cancer, How we help to support

Eastern Health Cancer Services

• Bedside arm chairs for each room on the Oncology/Haematology Ward at Box Hill Hospital

Flinders Foundation

• Developing and furnishing the family room at the new wellness centre at Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer (FCIC), to provide a dedicated space for the entire family to be a part of diagnosis, treatment and other stages of living with cancer.

Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre (Austin Health)

• Gentle yoga for cancer patients to improve sleep, decrease stress and enhance quality of life

• Creating music memories: using clinical song writing to create songs written by people experiencing cancer with the assistance of music therapists

• Cancer Information and Resource Service to help patients access information related to their diagnosis and prognosis, assists in making treatment decisions to empower them in this process, and accessing support services

• Oncology Massage for cancer patients to reduce pain, fatigue, anxiety, nausea and depression

• LiveWell, a post-treatment group to provide information and help develop practical skills in managing a healthy lifestyle whilst coping with the after effects of their cancer and its treatment

Pancare Foundation

• Patient Support Days to support people affected by pancreatic cancer, from point of diagnosis through to recovery from treatments, to ensure patients are receiving the very best care and information at all stages of their diagnosis and treatment

Peninsula Health

• Improving patient wellbeing on Ward 5SF at Frankston Hospital through therapeutic massage, to reduce symptoms of cancer treatment such as pain, nausea, anxiety, depression and fatigue.

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

• Oncology massage and writing master class at the Wellbeing Centre to enhance the support for the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of cancer patients

Royal Melbourne Hospital

• iPads for Head, Neck and Thyroid cancer patients on the ward to exercise their brain after surgery

• Refurbishment 3 West Day Surgery unit to make the waiting are a more calm, comfortable and cosy environment for patients and families who come in for endoscopy procedures

• Purchase of T34 Syringe Pumps which deliver medications continuously to maintain symptom control and comfort in patients who are no longer able to take oral medication

St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne

• Additional scalp cooling caps for use with the Scalp Cooling Machine, which decreases the scalp temperature and blood flow to hair follicles, the cooling caps alleviate the damage of chemotherapy

The Alfred, Melbourne

• Patient accommodation for rural and regional patients, providing with ‘hotel style’ accommodation close to the hospital


Western Australia

Cancer Council Western Australia 

• 13 11 20 Information and Support Line, a free, confidential information and support service, available to those affected by or concerned about cancer and works to connect West Australians with relevant support, information and resources

• Establish a new CCWA Cancer Support Centre at Fiona Stanley Hospital, to reach more patients and families who need psychosocial support and access to cancer support services

Fiona Stanley Hospital

• Treatment Diaries, allowing patients and their families to track appointments and symptoms, improve communication, knowledge of treatments and encourage questions

SolarisCare Cancer Support Centres

• Continued delivery of services at five centres, including exercise groups, support groups, art therapy and complementary therapies

• Patient information booklets to support cancer patients to make informed and safe choices about the options for managing their cancer journey and the associated symptoms of their disease and treatment

• Complimentary patient comfort packs including organic soaps, lip balms, hair and scalp products and information booklets

• Patient Support Courses including educational resources, one on one counselling, group therapies such as poetry writing, exercise activities, and other resources to assist individuals to cope and adapt to their current situation


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Announcing 2018 Major Beneficiaries

The Dry July Foundation is proud to announce a partnership with five of Australia’s biggest cancer charities.

The partnerships, with cancer charities based across the country, strengthen Dry July’s core purpose of supporting people affected by cancer. The beneficiaries will receive donations from the fundraising activities of Dry July participants.

Since 2008, Dry July has raised over $30 million in the last 10 years and has helped fund over 1,000 projects, including 198 facility upgrades, 179 therapy and wellness programs, wig libraries and chemotherapy scalp cooling machines.

In 2018, the new partners are The Leukaemia Foundation and Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia, which join Look Good Feel Better, Cancer Council NSW and Cancer Council WA as new major benefactors. Dry July participants can sign up to the challenge and select one of these charities as the main recipient of their Dry July fundraising.

The projects being funded are:

• Leukaemia Foundation - helping more than 750 families from regional Australia by providing free accommodation in capital cities, for people living with blood cancer during their treatment. Dry July funding will ensure the Leukaemia Foundation accommodation facilities across the country are comfortable and a homely place for patients, while also providing all the specialised care they need.

• Look Good Feel Better - funding workshops dedicated to teaching cancer patients how to manage the appearance-related side-effects caused by cancer treatment, empowering them to face their cancer with confidence. Dry July funding supports the delivery of 300 patient workshops nationally.

• Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia - supporting Australian men with life changing assistance from a Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse, who are there to help patients with any health and emotional challenges during (and after) their treatment. Dry July funding will mean that more men and their families get expert nursing support on their prostate cancer journey.

• Cancer Council NSW – Dry July will contribute towards the purchase and installation of new air conditioning units and sun shades at the Lilier Lodge patient accommodation in Wagga Wagga. Lilier Lodge provided over 6000 nights of accommodation for cancer patients in the local community in the past year, and hot summers and cool winters mean the air con units are well-loved and in need of an upgrade.

• Cancer Council WA - Dry July funding will go towards the 13 11 20 support line service for the WA community. A confidential cancer information and support phone line run by experienced Cancer Nurses connecting WA to resources and services.

Dry July CEO, Brett MacDonald said "Reaching our 10th anniversary is an incredible milestone, we’ve helped fund many important projects over the years, and now by partnering with five of the biggest cancer charities in Australia, we can do even more to make the lives of cancer patients and their families a little more comfortable during a difficult time.”  

Maddy's Story - Redkite Receives a DJ Grant towards Education & Career Consultant Program

"Cancer changed my options for the future. But it didn’t change my determination. I will achieve my goals.”

What do I do with my life? It’s a question Maddy, 20 was forced to confront in a big way after being diagnosed with an aggressive bone cancer called metastis osteosarcoma that started in her leg and had spread to her lungs.

Back then, Maddy was a promising gymnast, but her cancer treatment involved removal of her shinbone, knee joint and part of her thighbone.

“Throughout my life, my doctors will have to replace these bones,” Maddy explains. “It can be painful to walk long distances, but this has become my new normal.”

The cruellest blow was that Maddy couldn’t return to the gymnastics mat – her place to shine.

Like so many cancer survivors, Maddy now had to set a new direction for her future, but she had missed 18 months of school. With support from Redkite’s Education and Career Consultants, she was able to access tutoring to catch up on her subjects, and was soon back on track with her peers.

“Being a teenager and getting cancer is very tough. Redkite was amazing in helping out,” she says.

It wasn’t long before Maddy had an ambitious new plan to become an international corporate lawyer. With passion and dogged determination, she aced her exams and got into law at university.

“My goal is to work with a big firm with lots of global connections,” she says.

Maddy also received a Redkite scholarship to help cover her university costs, so that she could focus all her energy on her studies.

“Text books are expensive, and this scholarship also helps with my fees,” Maddy says. “It really takes some of the pressure off and makes it that much easier.”

Six years since her diagnosis, Maddy is cancer free today. Her family is so proud of the way she has somersaulted over the hurdles cancer brought. Maddy has just one year left before she graduates and is close to her dream of being a hot shot lawyer!


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Hugh's Story - Redkite Receives a DJ Grant towards Education & Career Consultant Program

Life can throw anyone a curve ball as Hugh, 17, and his family discovered when he was diagnosed with bone cancer. Yet in little over a year, Hugh was back on the path to achieving his dreams – and then some.

Hugh was happily juggling school with a busy competitive cricket schedule.

So, it was no surprise to Hugh’s mum Lee when he complained of a pain in his left leg. “We thought it was normal,” Hugh recalls. “Mum said ‘You're playing cricket three times a week, you have to expect some aches and pains’.”

Still, Lee sent Hugh to see his physiotherapist Ben. It was so fortunate she did. Ben suspected something serious. He immediately ordered an ultrasound.

“Even we could see something wasn't good,” says Hugh. “The ultrasound pictures looked like honeycomb. They asked us to wait for an X-ray and a CAT scan. We were starting to worry.”

Soon after, Hugh was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a cancerous tumour in his left fibula (knee bone). His family was in shock.

Just 15 days later, Hugh began nine months of life-saving treatment., Hugh was told he could lose his left leg, and with it potentially his dreams of cricket success.

“I had 12 weeks of chemotherapy, then limb salvage surgery to remove the tumour and a further 12 weeks of chemotherapy,” Hugh remembers. “It was exhausting, but fortunately I was in good hands and I didn’t lose my leg.”

Hugh was determined to stay positive and continued to go to school when he was well enough during chemotherapy. He even competed in his school athletics carnival, his mate huffing and puffing as he pushed Hugh’s wheelchair in the 800 metre sprint.

Not surprisingly, cricket remained Hugh’s priority.

“I went to cricket training as often as I could,” he says. “I couldn't train but would stand at the nets offering advice and sometimes I ran drills for my coaches.”

The support of Hugh’s family was vital to cope with the ups and downs of cancer treatment. And Redkite’s help made sure his parents and big brother Finn could be there for Hugh from the moment he entered hospital. It began when Hugh received the signature Redkite Red Bag full of essentials to make the hospital stay more comfortable for them.

And like many parents of young people receiving cancer treatment, Hugh’s mum Lee had to stop working to care for him. Redkite also provided vital financial support during this time to help cover bills, groceries and petrol. This really took the pressure off.

Just before Christmas, after nine months of treatment, Hugh received momentous news - his body showed no evidence of cancer.

It was at this point that Redkite Education and Career Specialists facilitated tutoring for Hugh, so he could catch up on missed education and keep pace with his peers. Hugh also received a Dare to Dream Scholarship from Redkite, to use to pursue his cricket career.

Recently, Hugh was offered the chance to play the 2018 cricket season with an English club – a life-changing opportunity. He is well on the way to achieving his dreams.

Yet, Hugh says it’s also the simple things that mean the most right now. “I have enjoyed learning to drive and hanging out with friends,” he says. “Just being a normal teenager feels pretty good!”

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Guide for Mums with Cancer

Having cancer is pretty awful for anyone, but having cancer when you are a Mum is really different. Mummy’s Wish helps families navigate a practical pathway through treatment to help reduce the burden and negative impact on young families. 

Dry July has funded the development of a Guide For Mums With Cancer which will enable Mummy’s Wish to capture all of the valuable knowledge of our Support Coordinators, like Ali, so that our Mums can easily access information when, and in a format, that suits them. The guide will also be an invaluable resource for hospital social workers and cancer care coordinators.

You can view the Guide For Mums With Cancer here: https://mummyswish.org.au/guide-for-mums-with-cancer/ 

MEET ALISON 

Alison is one of our dedicated Mummy’s Wish support coordinators. She used to be a nurse and decided to take on a coordinator role because it felt like such a real and direct way of helping people who need it right now

Alison says that many of the mums that she works with simply don’t know how to ask for help and are overwhelmed by the decisions that they have to make in a short space of time. 

“I don't think people know where to start looking for help – or how. Then they speak to a coordinator here, and they know we get it. We understand. We're mums ourselves and we understand some of the challenges that they're facing at the moment - some of the practical, difficult things that they're trying to sort out and deal with. 

So, the family that I spoke to this morning, well, they don't even know where to start looking for childcare for a two-and-a-half-year-old. They've not needed to put the two-and-a-half-year-old into childcare but all of a sudden, you know, mum's going to be having radiotherapy and she's going to need to be at the hospital which is 30 kilometers away, for five days a week for five weeks. She can't take a two-and-a-half-year-old with her, so how's she going to find childcare? I know that I can point her in the right direction and help her through that process.” 

MEET RENEE

On Christmas Eve in 2014, Renee was in hospital after an emergency appendectomy, waiting for her surgeon to discharge her. When the doctor walked into the room she and her husband knew immediately from his face that the news was going to be hard to hear.  

On Christmas day, Renee had to tell her family that she had a very rare form of cancer in her appendix and that she needed to be re-admitted before the day was finished. 

Renee’s children were aged four, six and eight years old. The year ahead for them was going to be confusing and upsetting. Not only was their mummy having to spend lots of time in hospital, when she was home she was too exhausted and nauseous to play with them like before.  

Renee told me that she was very worried about her kids. She asked what support there was to help them process what was happening to their mum. She was given a pamphlet that guided her on how to tell her kids – but nothing practical.  

I am so proud to tell you that one of my team here at Mummy’s Wish was able to step in. Renee told me that she was on her third round of chemo when she spoke with Kylie, a Mummy’s Wish support coordinator. Not only did Mummy’s Wish provide voice recordable Comfort Bears for her children to cuddle whilst she was in hospital, we also provided access to information, resources and other services that were able to help reduce the burden during Renee’s 18 month long battle with cancer. 

“The bears really helped my kids. I just did a simple message like, ‘it's mummy here I'm in hospital right now, but I'll be home soon, love you!’”.  

And even though she was still very unwell the following Christmas, I am delighted to tell you that here in 2018 she is no longer being supported by Mummy’s Wish as she is living cancer free. 

Renee is now one of our much loved volunteers – she works tirelessly because she knows first hand how invaluable support is for mums with cancer. 

Renee’s wish:

"Obviously the thing I want most is a cure for cancer. I am currently cancer free but I know that there are many mums who are facing a more uncertain future. 

Aside from that, I wish we (Mummy’s Wish) could help every single mum that needs us."

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