Pinc & Steel

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PINC & STEEL Foundation Australia is more than just helping people after cancer, it is about giving hope, strength and courage.

By supporting us during Dry July, you’ve not only doing a great thing for your own health, you are also raising important funds to help people in their recovery from cancer treatment through PINC & STEEL’s rehabilitation and exercise programmes.

PINC & STEEL is really passionate about helping people navigate the difficult world of cancer treatment so they can minimise the side effects of the treatments and encourage them to have the best quality of life they can. With more people surviving a cancer diagnosis, many more face an increased risk of extended health problems, premature mortality, and harsh long term disability and side effects from their treatment. PINC&STEEL Cancer Rehabilitation helps make the treatments more manageable and enables people to maximise their own recovery and take positive steps towards their future physical health and mental wellbeing.

Our PINC & STEEL Certified oncology rehabilitation physiotherapists and occupational therapists offer a better everyday for anyone affected by cancer.

Latest Updates

Your Dry July fundraising is helping Pinc&Steel support more people in their recovery from cancer

Your Dry July fundraising ensures that more Australians have access to cancer rehab services when they need it most!

This not only reduces the burden of cancer for the individual but also for their loved ones too.

We are delighted to announce that with your help Pinc&Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Foundation raised an astounding $53,331. Such an amazing result.

Our PINC & STEEL cancer rehab programs are focused on improving the quality of life and experience of people diagnosed with any type of cancer. Helping them overcome symptom distress, regain strength, mobility, and energy so they can participate fully in their life again.

The funds raised through Dry July ensures that more Australians have access to cancer rehab services when they need it most. The impact of this is that a growing number of people are moving forward after a cancer diagnosis with confidence, hope for the future and are returning to work and to the activities they love.

On behalf of the Pinc & Steel Cancer Rehabilitation Foundation, we would like to thank you for being part of this success.

Daniel's Story

“Finding Debbie and the STEEL Program has changed my life." 

After being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in February 2020 and requiring a bone marrow transplant in August 2020, I lost my confidence and sense of self. The thought of getting back into shape on my own was a terrifying one. I didn’t know where to start and was nervous to work out. I was concerned that the muscle loss I suffered due to treatment would mean I no longer had the foundations to attempt exercises I’d done many times before getting ill.

Thankfully I came across a post on one of the Leukaemia Group pages I follow where someone was sharing the fact that they’d come across the PINC and STEEL program in Sydney.

With Google’s help I came across a site that listed all the accredited PINC and STEEL trainers in each state. This is how I found Debbie and the Body Moves team! With Debbie’s help I saw a rapid change in both my ability and confidence.

After working together 1-on-1 for a couple of months I felt strong enough to join the group Next Steps sessions. My confidence now has completely returned. Debbie’s kindness, attention to detail and her knowledge of working with people who are dealing with cancer is priceless. I’m so happy to have met Debbie and the entire Body Moves team. My sessions with them are a highlight of my week.” Daniel.

Leonie's Story

“My breast surgeon referred me to cancer rehab physiotherapist Hope Spencer at The Positive Health Project so I could improve my shoulder movement prior to breast reconstruction surgery, and I haven't looked back.”

Leonie was diagnosed with breast cancer Stage 2, Grade 2 in April 2020 just as the first wave of covid restrictions started. Despite having a good circle of support, getting a cancer diagnosis during this time meant that Leonie completed her oncology appointment and treatments on her own. She felt stressed, anxious, and very lonely. The pandemic had added even more stress to what a very emotional time, and Leonie was impacted by high levels of anxiety throughout.

Leonie had a single mastectomy with an expander and sentinel node removal in May 2020 and after five months of chemotherapy, unfortunately, the pathology showed the cancer had spread. That meant Leonie had to return for more surgery, an axillary clearance, followed by four weeks of radiation treatment.

“After my mastectomy I had difficulty moving my left arm. I had some exercises given to me before I left hospital which helped me get my arm moving but it was never quite right. During chemo I gained 20 kilos, I was so sad as I had lost weight prior to my diagnosis for my daughter's wedding which had been cancelled due to covid restrictions. I was relieved to have gotten through chemotherapy but I was now left with neuropathy in both feet and could barely move my arm. I was in a lot of pain, overweight, miserable, and worse of all I felt alone in my battles.”

Leonie’s breast surgeon referred her Hope Spencer at The Positive Health Project for cancer rehabilitation.

“Hope literally gave me hope towards the future. She worked with my abilities and my arm started to move again. I was still battling my weight; I had a very expensive mother of the bride dress to fit back into. I knew I needed to start physical exercise again but it was overwhelming the thought of the pain I'd be in if I started, so I just didn't.”

Leonie thought that was the extent of her rehabilitation. Her arm was moving well but she was far from satisfied with her experience of what life was like after cancer.

“I thought I would be this way for ever an email turned up in my inbox from Hope with a special offer to do the Next Steps Program, I took this a sign. It was just what I need to motivate me to get moving again. Previously I had been too fearful to go to a gym or exercise at home as I knew it was going to hurt and didn't know what I could or couldn't do, I really felt broken. I took the opportunity and signed up and so glad I did. I was so nervous to start. I'm uncoordinated, lacked energy and physically looked a lot different to how I used to look. But I needn't have been worried.”

The exercise program enabled Leonie to get moving in a safe friendly environment. The cancer rehab physio was able to tailor the exercises to suit Leonie’s individual experience, including helping her manage the side effects she was experiencing due to hormone treatments. Leonie starting to not only be pleased with being able to complete the exercises but she was really enjoying the sessions and looked forward to the class each week.

“The program is perfect for cancer survivors, just diagnosed or going through treatment, it's the right combination of cardiac exercising and stretching. It is enough to get the heart rate up but then not feel like you are going to pass out as you have the yoga, stretching and mediation to bring the heart rate back. The bonus to this specific exercise class was that it is done with others in the same or similar situation as you. We can all relate to our struggles with image, abilities and the crap cards we have been dealt, there is no judgement, only support and a lot of laughs. We actually have fun while doing our bodies good. I'm hooked.”

“I would thoroughly recommend all breast cancer patients give it a go, even if you think you can't, you'll surprise yourself that you actually can.”

Ps I got back into my mother of the bride dress and after another two cancellations my beautiful daughter was finally married on 4/2/22 and I danced the night away!



Melissa's Story

55-year-old Melissa from Sydney’s Sutherland Shire was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in the midst of the pandemic in 2020. Her cancer was triple-negative breast cancer and when she was diagnosed, it had already spread to her lymph nodes. Eight months of treatment included fifteen rounds of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, removal of her lymph nodes and twenty-five rounds of radiotherapy. Melissa was left physically and mentally exhausted.

During the treatment Melissa had suffered from many complications, including peripheral neuropathy that caused tingling and numbness, infections under her fingernails, early stage lymphoedema, severe radiation burns and cording causing restricted movement in her arm. The treatment also took a toll on Melissa’s fitness. She had been fit and active but during and after her treatments Melissa was only able to walk around the block.

“When my lymphoedema physiotherapist, Sharyn Wappett mentioned the PINC & STEEL Next Steps group Cancer Rehab Program, I was very keen to try it. Being able to do the program online via Zoom was perfect as Sydney's long lockdown had just started. I felt confident to get started because it was led by a physiotherapist who knew my physical limitations, and who was experienced in cancer rehabilitation.

I benefitted greatly from the PINC & STEEL Next Steps program. Over the twelve weeks my fitness level improved significantly, and my arm movement too. I was a keen bushwalker before my diagnosis and was delighted that due to my rehabilitation I felt fit enough to go on an overnight hike just five months after finishing my cancer treatment. I have enrolled in the program again this term and would encourage anyone recovering from cancer to give it a go!”

Melissa has recently returned from a 30 km bush walk with her friends in the Ben Boyd National Park. Despite her aggressive cancer diagnosis, she is now cancer free and looking forward to many more outdoor adventures.