The Flinders Medical Centre Foundation is calling on South Australians to go booze-free this July to help raise funds to support patients battling cancer at Flinders.
This is the first time that Flinders has been chosen as a beneficiary of Dry July – a national fundraising campaign which has raised over $15 million since 2009 and asks people to give up alcohol for the month of July in support of adults living with cancer.
Flinders University SA Brain Bank Coordinator Robyn Flook knows first-hand what this funding means for patients after battling breast cancer in 2012.
Robyn runs the SA Brain Bank which facilitates the study of brain tissues collected from donors. Scientists from around Australia can access this tissue to further their research into neurological diseases.
This year she is giving back to the FMC Foundation by becoming an ambassador for Dry July, encouraging others to register to help make a difference for patients going through treatment at Flinders.
“Being diagnosed with cancer is daunting, and the treatment can be distressing, but Dry July is helping to make the journey a little less traumatic by raising vital funds to support cancer care services.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2012. What followed was a whirlwind of tests. There were bone scans, blood tests (lots of blood tests) and xrays. Next there was treatment: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. In amongst all this activity, there were emotions to deal with - for me and for my family and friends.
“My journey was made easier because I could have most treatments done at Flinders, close to my home. I had chemotherapy at the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer. I had toured the centre when it opened, never knowing I would one day be a patient. My oncology appointments were one floor up from the Infusion Suite. It was a warm, comforting and relaxed environment, which was important during such a difficult time. My son would sit with me during my treatments – every three weeks for a year. Some sessions lasted for four or five hours. I appreciated the calm environment, comfortable treatment chairs, and access to the internet, which all meant my time spent in the cancer centre was not so bad.
“The Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer, with the support of the FMC Foundation, provided me with the support I needed - both medical and emotional - as well as providing those ‘little extras’ that aren’t covered by a stressed health budget, but are so very important to patient well-being. There was advice on keeping well during treatment, support to get a wig before my hair fell out, and a supply of soft and colourful beanies for when the wig was too uncomfortable. I was surprised just how cold a bald head gets in winter!
“I finished all treatments last September; what a happy day that was. I continue to enjoy every moment of life – and I hope and expect to enjoy many more years as a cancer survivor.
“Thank you Dry July, and all those who support this fun but important campaign that is helping make cancer treatment a little easier to endure.”
To sign up for Flinders please visit www.dryjuly.com and choose Flinders as your beneficiary.
For anyone who doesn’t drink, you can choose to give up something else for the month of July – it could be coffee, chocolate, sugar, social media – whatever your vice is!
If you can’t participate this year, you can also make a donation to support Robyn or Team Flinders to support vital cancer services at Flinders.
The FMC Foundation hopes to raise much-need funds to grow cancer care programs at Flinders, such as oncology massage, a stress management program, ward equipment and survivorship services.