The State Government has announced funding for a specialist McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurse in Bundaberg as part of a $2.4 million package.
Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles today announced the funding of $830,164 a year for three years that will support seven of the McGrath Foundation’s 22 specialist nurses working across the state.
“Breast cancer is estimated to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, affecting one in seven women, and as incidences increase so too does the need for these specialist nurses,” Mr Miles said.
“McGrath Breast Care Nurses do a fantastic job providing support and care to patients through every stage of their breast cancer treatment.
“I’m pleased to be able to support the McGrath Foundation with this funding, which will ultimately help Queenslanders and their families in what is undoubtedly a very tough time.”
McGrath Foundation chief executive Holly Masters said the funding would ensure continued support for Queensland breast cancer patients throughout these challenging times.
“We are hugely grateful to the Queensland Government for their support which ensures that despite the rapidly changing environment, Queensland breast cancer patients and their families can continue to access the free care and vital support that a McGrath Breast Care Nurse provides,” Ms Masters said.
Melissa Gosper, a McGrath Breast Care Nurse at Princess Alexandra Hospital for more than three years, said more than 1800 people with breast cancer in the local area had been supported since 2009.
“Once a patient hears the word ‘cancer’, they often don’t hear or can’t process what happens next. I’m there to help my patients comprehend the medical jargon and make decisions about their treatment,” Ms Gosper said.
“Working to empower my patients so that they can face the many challenges a breast cancer diagnosis can bring is the reason I find my job so rewarding.”
Breast cancer patient Lisa Cook, also a registered nurse, said even with her medical background, her diagnosis was still hard to process.
“I’ve had to make a lot of decisions about my treatment and Melissa has been there at every step of the way, from answering questions, to allowing me to have moments to think, cry and breakdown…sometimes even just having her hold my hand has helped,” she said.
The seven McGrath Breast Care Nurses are located in South Brisbane, Buderim, Bundaberg, Gatton, Gayndah, Ipswich and Nambour.
The McGrath Foundation has become one Australia’s most recognised and respected charities since Jane and Glenn McGrath’s very public experience with breast cancer.
Glenn McGrath was a leading international fast bowler with the Australian cricket team.
When Jane was diagnosed with cancer for a second time, she had the support of a breast care nurse, who both empowered and comforted her, and her family.
- Other news: Netballers don pink socks for breast cancer