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Solaris Cancer Care

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$41,314.57 raised

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Professor David Joske started Solaris Cancer Care for two reasons: firstly, to give his patients a team around them to help with the journey and provide access to safe and supervised complementary therapies; and secondly, because he sometimes saw people come out after cancer with a much richer appreciation of life.

Good can come out of bad, and Professor Joske wanted to give his patients the best chance of this happening.

In 2019, Solaris Cancer Care will celebrate 19 years of making a difference to West Australians living with cancer. As a largely volunteer based organisation, the delivery of our cancer support services relies heavily on the generosity of the community and our Dry July’ers.

One of Australia’s leaders in integrative cancer care, Solaris offers a helping hand to guide people towards the quality of life that Professor Joske envisioned all those years ago. The grief, the confusion, the fear, the bargaining - are what everyone who works in the cancer space, witnesses daily. Cancer doesn’t make an appointment. It can’t be cancelled due to lack of interest or deferred because of a cold or fatigue but Solaris can ease the burden of a cancer diagnosis by providing access to approved resources and services to assist with the emotional and physical effects of cancer diagnosis, treatment, recovery, and palliative care.

Patients who attend Solaris Cancer Care welcome the opportunity to take up different services such as reflexology and mindfulness-based stress reduction, massage and music therapy. They find a place where people understand what they are going through, and where some nice things can happen amidst the trauma of their illness and where they can get a lift that doesn’t seem possible anywhere else. In fact, we know from work done in Solaris and elsewhere that massage reduces anxiety, and that music therapy improves depression scores in cancer patients.

Our five centres across the state, provide a diverse range of support, information, education and exercise programs as well as access to counselling and safe complementary integrated therapies. All services are given free of charge or at nominal cost.

Our vision is to bring humanity to healthcare through care, compassion and the community. We believe that treating the whole person and not just the disease promotes overall wellbeing and improved quality of life across all stages of cancer. Founded on a strong medical base and consistently refined through our commitment to sound research and education, we look to improve access to support services for metropolitan, regional and rural patients alike.

All monies raised through Dry July directly benefit the community, providing emotional and physical support to all cancer patients and their families.

On behalf of our patients, their families, our volunteers and staff, we invite you to support Solaris Cancer Care this Dry July and in turn, help us to support, empower and nurture the West Australian Cancer Community.

Latest Updates

Patient Services

SolarisCare Foundation is using Dry July funds to offer additional services to cancer patients. This includes:

- The engagement of a counsellor/s to deliver one on one sessions and engaging guest speakers to present to patients on a variety of relevant educational subjects including nutrition, exercise during cancer treatment and the like.

- Provision of laptops with internet access and head phones to allow patients to maintain real time contact with their family and friends at home. Many patients travel from regional and remote areas of Western Australia and being able to speak to family 'face to face' can make a huge difference to their emotional wellbeing.

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Regional Patient Ambassador Barbara Cruickshank

Barbara lives by the philosophy ‘you can do anything you put your mind to’ which is clearly portrayed through her positive, effervescent nature. She describes her cancer experience as more of a detour in the road rather than a journey, a deviation that started 18 months ago… 

Having worked in the allied health industry for several years, I instinctively knew something was not quite right. After several meetings and a constant feeling of exhaustion, the results of a blood test gave me the answers. 

Swiftly I was off to Albany Health Campus to be greeted by doctors, have biopsies ordered and treatment plans discussed. This is when it all became very real. 

After examining all options with the charming John Lindsay, we decided I would receive six rounds of chemotherapy. After completing two rounds and many a blood test, the treatment was intensified and another six more sessions of chemotherapy were required.   

This is where my trip with SolarisCare began. Whilst I was receiving chemotherapy, the SolarisCare team were always there. They provided me with massages, company and support. Without this amazing group of volunteers, my six-hour chemo sessions would have been unbearable.   

I finished chemo in October and I am now in maintenance until the end of May. Soon I will need to go back for more blood tests and maybe another bone marrow biopsy. In spite of my slight detour I am feeling so good I have gone back to work for a few hours a week.  

After my treatments had finished the amazing group of people at SolarisCare provided me with support I needed and established friendships that will last forever. It is due to this that I pledge myself to the great cause of Dry July.   

Safe trip, Barb xx 

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Entertainment Items

Purchase of various items for SolarisCare Cancer Support Centres will offer patients a welcome distraction while they are undergoing treatment or during extended stays in hospital. Portable devices will provide patient enjoyment and entertainment through uploaded electronic books, movies, TV series, etc.

SolarisCare will purchase:

- iPads
- Kindles
- Head phones
- Movies/eBooks
- Puzzle and crossword books
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Magazine subscriptions 

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Redesign and refurbishment of the SolarisCare South West Centre

Patients and families in the South West of WA utilise the SolarisCare South West centre in Bunbury as an area of respite where they can seek information, receive complementary therapies, be counselled or simply relax.

The SolarisCare Foundation plans on redeveloping and refreshing the centre and the surrounding gardens and grounds which are spread over 2000m2, utilising funds from Dry July and other supporters.

The project is creating additional multi-purpose areas to enhance the experience of patients and their carers and increase the capacity of the centre to deliver therapies and offer areas of quiet restfulness. The current reception area will be converted to house a dedicated library/resource area, along with several tub chairs and a coffee table to provide a pleasant and quiet reading nook. The coordinators office will be transformed into an additional therapy/counselling room. An outdoor reflection area will also be introduced.

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Focusing on patients at SolarisCare Cancer Support Centres

SolarisCare Cancer Support Centres provide free supportive care services to all adult cancer patients and their primary carers. Dry July funds will be used at SolarisCare centres in Perth (Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital), Bunbury (South West) and Albany (Great Southern) towards a range of fantastic projects aimed at improving the cancer journey for patients from across Western Australia, including:

  • Stylish and comfortable headwear for patients who may lose their hair during treatment, to assist with their self-esteem and ‘normalcy’
  • Art therapy supplies to support and assist in symptom alleviation
  • Blanket warmers
  • Yoga equipment for SCGH
  • Appointment service for remote GS patients
  • Lip balm for pamper packs
  • Christmas decorations
  • Linen for new SW therapy rooms
  • Improved main door access to SolarisCare SCGH
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