McGrath Foundation

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In Australia, one in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 85.

With your support this Dry July you will be helping to ensure that people with breast cancer have the care and support of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse.

McGrath Breast Care Nurses provide invaluable support and care to women and men experiencing breast cancer. From diagnosis right throughout treatment, the individual and their families are supported for free and a doctor’s referral isn’t needed.

A breast cancer diagnosis changes people’s lives, often in ways you wouldn’t expect. The impact can be felt right through their network of family and friends. As much as they try, the diagnosis, the treatment and the disease can have a huge impact on their lives.

McGrath Breast Care Nurses bring families peace of mind through expert knowledge, personal care and genuine compassion. They can help create time in someone’s life not defined by breast cancer. McGrath Foundation research shows early access to a McGrath Breast Care Nurse significantly improves the experience and outcomes of a person with breast cancer. *

Proceeds from Dry July 2020 will help support the McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurses to provide care to people experiencing breast cancer.

Helping Australians

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia.

The McGrath Foundation currently funds 145 McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia, who have supported more than 86,000 families since 2005.

McGrath Breast Care Nurses are an important part of the complex medical team managing the care of people with breast cancer. They are specially trained and experienced in supporting both early and metastatic breast cancer.

Ongoing funding is needed to ensure our 145 McGrath Breast Care Nurses can continue to provide support to families experiencing breast cancer across Australia.

Together we can make a difference, now more than ever!

*Source - Mahony, J. et al. (2019). The Impact of Breast Care Nurses: An Evaluation of the McGrath Foundation's Breast Care Nurse Initiative. Asia-Pacific journal of oncology nursing, 6(1), 28–34.

Latest Updates

Linda's Story

"When I got home from surgery, Fi would come to see me, check my drainage and make sure it was all good. She never left me alone, she made sure I was OK mentally, physically and had no infections. It makes you feel pretty safe, even though you're recovering at home rather than in a hospital."

When Linda was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017, she found solace in the support from her McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurse, Fiona. From assisting with travel arrangements from her hometown in Cooma to treatment in Canberra, to ensuring Linda was well supported physically and emotionally throughout her cancer journey, Fiona's support has proven to be invaluable.

"Even now, Fi is always, always around. She's not just a nurse to me, she's more like a friend. Everyone needs someone like that, to help get them through cancer."

Your fundraising from Dry July 2020 has allowed McGrath Foundation to employ 8 new Breast Care Nurses around Australia so that people affected by breast cancer can feel safe and supported from the moment of diagnosis. 💗

Dry July fundraising will help the McGrath Foundation fund 8 McGrath Breast Care Nurses

Your Dry July fundraising will be helping the McGrath Foundation fund 8 McGrath Breast Care Nurses, who care and support families experiencing breast cancer. 

Rochelle Osgood, a McGrath Breast Care Nurse reflects on the importance of her role, “The most important thing I do for my patients and their families is be someone who can advocate for the client, provide relevant and accurate information through education and emotional support. As well as be a point of contact either at the other end of the phone or in person.” 

Dry Julyers, thank you for your support in improving the lives of people affected by breast cancer.

McGrath Foundation’s very own McGrath Breast Care Nurse takes on the challenge

Tracey Beattie is going Dry this July

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be incredibly confronting and challenging, especially now with the added difficulty of accessing treatment during a pandemic. Many of my patients are facing additional stresses due to COVID-19 and I thought this was something I could to do to show my support.  

As a McGrath Breast Care Nurse, I see the impact the McGrath Foundation has every day and I know how important it is that every family experiencing breast cancer has access to this kind of support for free. At this time of year, I’d usually be attending fundraisers but due to social-distancing measures, it’s really hard for people to host face-to-face fundraising events. I figured that without these events, fundraising for the McGrath Foundation would be affected and I wanted to do something to help.  

I must admit that fundraising doesn’t come naturally to me! I’ve been easing into it by posting on my own social media pages and have reached out to my friends, family and colleagues via email. I do enjoy a wine so I’ve been joking with people at my own expense about how much of a challenge going alcohol-free will be. I also sent off a few text messages to people who said they’d like to donate.  

I had a laugh with a friend about how much of a challenge it would be and she bought me a golden ticket! I don’t plan on using it, but the additional funds are nice. Dry July is also a great opportunity to consider our alcohol intake and how this may impact our health.  

Dry July funds help McGrath Foundation support people like Selena

Selena’s diagnosis 

Breast health has always been important to me because my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 39. I was vigilant in conducting regular self-checks and planned to start getting regular mammograms when I turned 45.

When I was 42, I felt a lump in my breast and booked in for a mammogram. The BreastScreen bus was due to arrive in town in a few weeks. Fortunately, the lump I had found was benign, but the mammogram picked up some other lumps I couldn’t feel.

Further testing revealed these lumps were cancerous. Early stage, but cancerous.

Because of my family history, I didn’t want to take any chances, so I decided to have a double mastectomy and reconstruction, as well as genetic testing. The testing came back negative which was a relief.

Breast Cancer Experience

I’m a single mum of three and my kids were my main concern. Tracey was incredible in helping me manage with the kids as I wanted to ensure there was a little disruption to their lives as possible. 

I was scheduled for two surgeries in December and one of my pre-surgery appointments clashed with my daughter’s end of school year assembly and Leavers Dinner. It was really important to me that I was there, so Tracey re-arranged my appointment so I could attend. 

As well as the practical support, Tracey was also really helpful with the emotional side of things. My breast cancer diagnosis was so overwhelming, and Tracey really helped me cope. 

At the time of my diagnosis, I worked full-time as a real estate agent, but I wasn’t able to continue working through my treatment. Tracey put me in touch with some support services and my sister flew into Burnie to help with the kids while I was in hospital. 

While I was recovering, a friend from Albury came to help as well. The whole experience has shown me how incredibly resilient my kids are.

Finding Her New Normal

My employer has been fantastic so I’m back at work and although I’m still under a lot of pressure financially, I’m really positive about the experience. The cancerous lumps never would have been found by self-checking and if I’d waited until I was 45 for the mammogram then the cancer could have progressed and spread. 

I’m so grateful the cancer was found early and now I refer to the benign lump as my guardian angel. 

I’m determined for something good to come out of this so I now talk about the emotional and financial impacts of breast cancer wherever I can. I gave my first presentation at the local football club just five weeks after surgery. It’s a cathartic experience. 

I’ve also become a real advocate for McGrath Breast Care Nurses. 

I don’t know how I would have got through this without Tracey. I didn’t really talk about my breast cancer with my friends while I was being treated. Tracey was there for that. 

McGrath Foundation receives additional grant from Dry July Foundation

We're pleased to announce that McGrath Foundation has received an additional grant from the Dry July Foundation October grant round.

This grant will enable the continuation of a Mildura-based McGrath Breast Care Nurse Louise James.

Louise has said, “I provide support to people with breast cancer and their families, coordinating their care and unpacking medical jargon so that each person understands what is happening. I give people time. Time to understand their diagnosis, time to decide on the right treatment for them and time to appreciate their timeline.

I’m also incredibly passionate about breast health understanding and encourage people to get to know their bodies so that they know what is normal for them.

Thanks to the support of the Dry July Foundation, McGrath Breast Care Nurses, like me are able to continue to provide vital support to people with breast cancer and their families.”