Thanks to Dry July patients who drop in to the SolarisCare Great Southern Centre, Albany can relax and unwind in the new massage chair. Patients are able to enjoy the benefits of a massage as they wait for an appointment, after treatment or even if they just drop in for a coffee and chat.
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Solaris Cancer Care is an Australian first, providing integrative oncological services to West Australians with all types of cancer, from diagnosis to palliative care and survivorship since 2001. Our six centres in regional WA and metropolitan Perth provide clients with evidence-based complementary therapies, group support, counselling, education and workshops. Our clients, their families and carers are at the heart of everything we do. From yoga, art therapy, choir and meditation to women’s wellness groups and guest speaker programs, we focus on helping people live well.
By raising funds for Dry July, you play a critical role in ensuring we can continue to offer our diverse range of community, mental health and regional outreach programs. Solaris Cancer Care receives minimal funding from the WA government and relies on generous donors like yourself to help support all WA cancer clients. We acknowledge that everyone is unique; each cancer patient, carer or family member will persevere through a journey like no other. It is with this ideology in mind that we have developed different community programs that cater to every West Australian who walks through our doors.
So, from us to you – we thank you for making a sizeable impact in people with cancers’ lives this Dry July!
Massage Tables at SolarisCare Centres
SolarisCare Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and South West recently upgraded their therapy rooms with new electronic massages tables, a welcome improvement from the portable folding tables which were previously used.
The new additions to the rooms allow therapists to better contour the tables to the patient’s physical needs whilst practising in a safe and comfortable environment.
Yuli Langslow - SolarisCare Cancer Support Centre
Yuli is a qualified volunteer oncology massage therapist at SolarisCare Great Southern and champion of the Albany SolarisCare Dry July Team. Here she shares her journey with SolarisCare and reasons for supporting and representing regional Western Australia in the Dry July Campaign.
In my early years I trained as a remedial massage therapist and it was during this period of study that I first encountered SolarisCare Great Southern, previously known as New Horizon Complementary Unit. It was 2006 and as a student in my final year of training, I was looking for workplace experience. I was able to develop my skills through supervised training at the Albany SolarisCare, and I have been volunteering there ever since. In the meantime, I qualified as a remedial massage therapist and for a number of years have been practising in my own business on a full time basis, attached to a local physiotherapy clinic.
I know that SolarisCare brings real benefit to locals who are dealing with cancer. It is a place where not only patients can relax in between their treatments but also carers can take a short and well-earned break from caring for their loved ones. I have been volunteering here long enough to see, volunteers and patients, coming and going, some are happy good-byes, some are sad.
My aim in participating in the “Dry July” campaign is to help to promote SolarisCare to the wider Albany and Great Southern community. More people need to know about this wonderful place and what we have to offer.
More than that, “Dry July” will also help to set a good example to both my children (and even perhaps my husband!). While I do love the occasional good glass of wine or a locally distilled gin and tonic, we all need to do our bit for organisations like SolarisCare and this seemed to me a good way of helping just a little bit more.
SolarisCare Cancer Support Centre - Rosannagh Carslaw
After going through cancer at just 17, today, Rosannagh recently graduated from her studies at Curtin University to become an occupational therapist and has put her hand up to be an Ambassador for SolarisCare’s Foundation Dry July campaign.
I was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2007 and received 6 months of chemo and radiotherapy for 6 months at the age of 17. That 6 months changed my life, however when reflecting on my cancer journey I can see many positives among the fatigue, nausea etc.. I believe this was because not only was my body being supported to defeat the disease (by being bombarded with drugs) but also my mind and body. Further, many people would know that a cancer diagnosis doesn’t just effect the person but also their support network including family and friends – it was a big relief for me knowing these important people in my life were also being supported through this time. All this support enabled me to get to a place where I was ok with my diagnosis so that my mind and body were fighting the disease together. However this is not easy and many people struggle everyday coming to terms with a cancer diagnosis and the treatment that often accompanies it and this is totally normal and that’s when SolarisCare becomes so important – they provide a place (that is often lost in big hospitals) that people can turn to and receive that support so that they too can be ‘ok’ with their diagnosis and have the best change at fighting the disease with their minds and body’s working together.
Participating in Dry July puts a cancer journey into perspective for many people…people find giving up alcohol for a month very challenging and that’s totally normal, it is definitely a part of the Australian culture and most people’s weekend rituals. However people going through cancer often are expected to change a lot more than just their alcohol habits and I think this challenge gives people a small taste of what that change means and how it feels.
That glass of wine, beer or cider (whatever your choice) is one of life’s luxuries and giving it up is a small commitment in comparison to the cancer journey millions of people are currently on. So please donate and support this fabulous cause.
My Journey by Wayne Hill
My journey towards the SolarisCare Founation began on the 19th April, 2012. Not only did this date change my life, but also that of my family, friends and workmates.
It all started with a headache that when coupled with nausea bought about a trip to the specialist and an MRI scan. Before I knew it, what had started out as a simple complaint had quickly become something that would go on to dominate our lives. The MRI revealed that I had a tumour in the right frontal lobe of my brain. We were sent straight back to the GP, where we learnt our first lesson of having Cancer, that when an offer of a tea or coffee is made, the news is never good.
Later that evening we made the first of what is a now an all too familiar trip as I was admitted to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in Nedlands. Surgery quickly followed, and then the long wait for biopsy results began. Our wait ended with the dreaded diagnosis of a stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme. Unaware of more suitable facilities within the hospital, my wife and I found ourselves in the hospital café with a box of tissues, tears flowing and no care for the world going on around us.
A course of radiation and oral chemo soon followed and it was while we were waiting for one of these MRIs that my wife picked up an information leaflet from SolarisCare and when by chance we walked past the centre on our way to the café my introduction to SolarisCare was complete.