For Patients / 12 Nov, 2018

Under the wings of uplifted

Icon Writers

Local charity provides cancer patients with practical support

38-year-old Clontarf resident, Patricia West was having a shower when she felt a lump under her armpit; after a screen and biopsy she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a radical mastectomy followed by four months of chemotherapy at Redcliffe Hospital and was then told she would need radiation therapy. The months of treatment had taken its toll, so when Patricia had to face even more treatment everything just started to feel overwhelming.

Due to her cancer diagnosis Patricia decided to stop her casual job and with only her partner, Shane bringing in income, their financial situation became yet another concern.

Dreading the notion of having to travel to Brisbane city every day for her radiation, Patricia was grateful she could receive her radiation treatment 20 minutes from home at the Icon Cancer Centre in North Lakes.

“Having to go into the city would have honestly ruined us. The drive to and from, including petrol and parking costs would have been a nightmare. Being able to go to North Lakes every day with free parking, and not having to deal with traffic was incredible,” Patricia said.

With only just enough money set aside each month to pay for rent and starting to put off their other bills, their car registration was due and knowing they couldn’t afford it, everything became too much. During one of her radiation treatments at Icon she was introduced to Be Uplifted.

“One of the nurses came and sat with me and took the time to ask me how I was going with everything else in my life and after I told her about my troubles, she suggested Be Uplifted. It can be really hard to know where to get help so being given this information was a real help.”

Be Uplifted is a unique local breast cancer charity that seeks to improve the lives of women, men and their families experiencing difficulty or disadvantage as a consequence of breast cancer. Founded by two breast cancer survivors, Be Uplifted focuses on offering practice support and financial assistance during what is often the toughest time in someone’s life.

Be Uplifted got in contact with Patricia and a few phone calls later they organised to pay for her car registration.

“They were so great and easy to talk to. The ease of them paying for our car registration was amazing, it completely took the weight off my shoulders. When you have cancer you get so many people asking you whether you need anything, but it’s sometimes help that isn’t useful, it’s that practical support that makes all the difference,” Patricia said.

Be Uplifted Co-Founder and President Wendy Paterson has a very hands on approach to the charity and works closely with their volunteers and patients.

“We are a small charity led with a spirit of compassion and kindness. We never turn down a local breast cancer patient seeking assistance and we offer a range of services including financial assistance, counselling, house cleaning, food delivery, hairdressing services, providing breast cancer resources and much more,” Wendy said.

For Patricia, the help and care she received at Icon and Be Uplifted gave her the strength to get through

“It’s a frustrating and emotional time. Once you get through one round of treatment, something else comes along. It can feel very lonely but the support I had from Shane and all the medical teams gave me strength. Now I just want to go and do normal things. We are hoping to have a holiday to Japan soon, and I have a few potential jobs lined up, I feel good.”

Patricia is one of the many breast cancer patients who have received vital help from Be Uplifted. Icon works with a number of charities like Be Uplifted to ensure patients receive the best possible care throughout their cancer treatment and beyond whether it is emotional, physical or practical support. The teams at Icon Cancer Centres understand the importance of support and connect patients to suitable and trustworthy organisations who share the same values of caring for cancer patients and their families.

For more information on Be Uplifted visit their website here.

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