Tomaree Breast Cancer Support Group Hits 400 Patients Assisted But Needs Your Help

Christine Walton getting into the driver’s seat for Tomaree Breast Cancer Support Group.

 

IF you can spare a few hours, make some phone calls, or drive a car you can make a very real difference to a woman in our community while she battles breast cancer.

The Tomaree Breast Cancer Support Network spend many hours driving local women to treatment in Newcastle and Maitland but alongside the driving are other tasks that need to be done including being active on the committee.

It’s hard to be on treatment and it takes it out of you, driving after chemo just isn’t a great idea, and driving for over an hour when you are tired, and maybe not feeling too well isn’t safe for you or other drivers on the roads.

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Volunteer drivers are on a roster so they can plan around their contribution to the community.

For 20 years the Tomaree Breast Cancer Support Group have been driving ladies and men to treatment, mowing lawns and even babysitting.

Over 400 patients have been shown a little extra care and support by members of the community who take over the driving and let those doing it tough sit back and relax on their way to and from treatment but that’s not all they do.

Christine Walton of the Tomaree Breast Cancer Support Group told News Of The Area, “We really need some people on the committee to assist with getting patients needs accessed and to be a point of contact for patients.”

The service is seeking volunteers that can coordinate and help deliver to meet the needs of the patients.

Some patients have children so the service provides baby-sitting.

Others have a large yard that they can’t mow so the service sends in the lawn mowers.

The Tomaree Breast Cancer Support Group also holds sewing bees where they make special pillow and lavender bags.

There is no one size fits all approach to those diagnosed with breast cancer that the service supports, what they do is figure out the best way that they can meet the needs of the individual, taking off the pressure and allowing them to focus on their health.

Today the service is at risk because there simply aren’t enough volunteers to meet the demand for the service especially on the committee where they need some extra help for a few hours a week.

The group is also working towards getting a chemo chair and qualified staff at Tomaree Hospital which would make treatment far more accessible for patients.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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