TOO many south-west breast cancer victims are trying to cope with an uncertain future on their own while support groups are trying to reach them.
Warrnambool survivors Ann Krause, Marilyn Spikin and Sue Glaisher have just returned from a national summit in Sydney where they shared experiences with almost 300 others.
Guest speakers included former Olympian Raelene Boyle and Professor Kerryn Phelps.
It made the south-west representatives keener than ever to help other women grappling with the disease and its aftermath.
“We know there are women out in our district who have been through the trauma, but are not connected with our groups,” said Mrs Krause, who is community liaison representative for Breast Cancer Network Australia and the Warrnambool Social Breast Cancer Support Group.
“I’m a little concerned because we haven’t had new members in our group for a year or so. I’m not sure what the reason is.
“It is very difficult to get information from health services about patients because of confidentiality so we need to get the information out in other ways.
“From my experience when I was first diagnosed I felt I was on my own.
“When you join a support group you are encouraged by being among survivors and can share information and concerns.
“Our group is for the slightly younger women and we meet once a month socially.”
Mrs Spikin represents the Warrnambool and District Breast Cancer Support for older women while Ms Glaisher represents the South C Dragons which is a dragonboat team comprising cancer victims and their families and friends. The three groups are planning a joint fund-raising event for Peter’s Project cancer centre next March.
Mrs Krause can be contacted on 0400 800 499 or firstname.lastname@example.org