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Mater Cancer Care Centre, Brisbane

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It’s a heartbreaking reality that one in two Queenslanders will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime—meaning each day around 70 Queensland families are blindsided by an unimaginable cancer diagnosis.*

Cancer has a significant impact on our loved ones which is why Mater has been providing the community with leading cancer care services for more than 100 years.

By going Dry this July you will be supporting people living well, beyond cancer.

Approximately 4,000 women are diagnosed with female-specific cancers in Queensland annually. Treatment is so successful that 80% of breast cancer and around 70% of gynaecological cancer patients are alive ten years later which is incredible—but survival also entails living with the harsh side effects of treatment. These effects can impair physical and psychosocial wellbeing, and they confer a significant risk of developing other chronic conditions.

However, through exercise, good nutrition, sleep hygiene, stress management and psychosocial support, these women can achieve good quality of life, reduce risk and flourish in their usual social and work roles.

Your support through Dry July will allow us to introduce and evaluate a Women’s Wellness after Cancer Program (WWACP) as standard practice after treatment, Queensland-wide, across Mater. Once implemented the e-enabled program can be delivered irrespective of the woman’s geographic location; therefore, these benefits will apply equally to rural, regional and metropolitan patients of Mater.

The WWACP should also mitigate the considerable personal and social costs of treatment experienced by women with early stage female-specific cancers at all Mater facilities.

Together we can make a difference for these women and support them living well, beyond cancer.

Source: *www.cancerqld.org.au

Latest Updates

Your fundraising in 2020 has given more women with breast cancer access to the ‘Return to Wellness’ Program at Mater’s Cancer Care Centre.

Developed by the Mater Breast Care team, Return to Wellness offers breast cancer patients' access to a guided exercise program with a physiotherapist and breast care nurse, and advice about their diet and lifestyle choices to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Senior Physiotherapist Oncology Services Leah McIntyre said because the classes are smaller they can help each participant reach their individual goals.

“Our exercise programs are tailored to our participants individual needs, medical status and personal goals. Cancer treatment takes its toll on the body and we are focused on helping them regain both their strength and confidence,” she said.

“This is an important part of our patient’s recovery and we are so proud to be able to offer this service here at Mater and are so thankful to Dry July for their support.”

Debbie Anderson has been a Mater Volunteer for ten years working in the Mater Cancer Care Centre. However, at the beginning of 2020, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and joined the hospital as a patient.

“I had a routine breast screen which detected a lump, it turned out to be a maligned tumour and I had to have this removed. Following this I had to have three surgeries and radiation, it was a very intense experience,” Debbie said.

“I am now doing the Return to Wellness program and I can feel my strength returning. The classes have been great, and I am focused on getting my reach back.

“I have had amazing support from my care team, my fellow volunteers and my daughters, I am so lucky to have such a strong network of caring people around me.”

Amazingly Debbie continues to volunteer each week in the Cancer Care Centre bringing joy to patients she is now able to offer new insight into what life is like as a cancer patient.

Debbie thrives in the Return to Wellness Program

One of the programs your Dry July fundraising has supported is the 'Return to Wellness' Program at Mater Cancer Care Centre.

Developed by the Mater Breast Care team, Return to Wellness offers breast cancer patients' access to a guided exercise program with a physiotherapist and breast care nurse, and advice about their diet and lifestyle choices to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Debbie (pictured) has been a Mater Volunteer for ten years working in the Mater Cancer Care Centre. However, at the beginning of this year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and joined the hospital as a patient.

After enduring treatment which Debbie has described as a "very intense experience", she is now thriving in the Return to Wellness Program and can feel her strength returning. Debbie has been also valuing the support from her care team, fellow volunteers, and her daughters, who have helped her throughout her journey.

A massive shout out to our incredible Dry July 2020 participants and donors, you've helped to make the Return to Wellness Program possible. ❤️ 

The Mater Brisbane's guided exercise programs continues thanks to Dry July

Your incredible support is giving patients at Mater access to specially designed programs aimed at engaging and supporting them through guided exercise during and after their cancer diagnosis and treatment. Exercise can be effective in reducing physical deterioration, levels of fatigue, and can improve the quality of life of people with cancer.

These programs however go so much further than providing patients with exercise, nutrition, and lifestyle advice. They incorporate a holistic approach to address the issues and concerns faced by people having cancer treatment.

'Return to Wellness Program' receives a $33,000 grant from Dry July!

The team at Mater were thrilled to receive a cheque from Dry July for $33,000 to support its Return to Wellness Program for breast cancer patients. A number of people went dry in July 2019 resulting in these funds being raised to support high-risk breast cancer patients access a guided exercise program with a physiotherapist and breast care nurse for support. As part of the program, patients also receive advice about their diet and lifestyle choices to improve their health. Thank you to the Dry July Foundation and to everyone who took part in last year’s challenge. The countdown is on for Dry July 2020! www.dryjuly.com


How you helped Elise’s fight with cancer

Imagine how your whole life would change if you heard the words “You have bowel cancer”. For Elise, hearing these words ignited her will to fight.

Elise had no symptoms of bowel cancer, so the diagnosis came as a complete shock.

Suffering from a sudden heart attack, Elise required a triple-bypass and a short while after her operation, felt something burst in her stomach.

“At first, I was teary and upset. But then I thought, ‘Why should I be? I’m in good hands at Mater.’ I’ve been through a lot, and am still here.”

“Normally, surgeons remove as much of the cancer as possible but in my case, they couldn’t operate as the cancer is behind my intestines. Chemotherapy is my only hope.”

“I’m happy at Mater—I feel at home. It’s welcoming.”

Funds provided by Mater Foundation through Dry July has allowed the creation and installation of wall murals, designed to lift patients’ moral and mental health during their time at the MCCC. The murals—‘Kimberley sunset in Kakadu’ and ‘Scenic Rim’ were captured by photographer Vanessa Bertagnole—allow patients to view the sunset while walking through the hospital corridors and support the healing journey of Mater’s patients.

For almost one and a half years, Elise has been a patient at the Mater Cancer Care Centre (MCCC).

“It’s wonderful to be able to go for a walk while receiving treatments, see these murals and not feel trapped inside. I feel I can escape from my treatments, for a short while.”

Elise’s ongoing treatment is proving positive, and her goal of beating cancer looks promising. Recent scans showed that her cancer is in a state of stasis. Her treatments continue to ensure that the cancer will not grow again.

To anyone who knows a friend or family member with cancer, Elise has a message.

Treat us as we are. Don’t stay away. Come together in support of one another. Don’t feel sorry.”


Donate to Mater Cancer Care Centre, Brisbane