McGrath Foundation reaches 100,000 patients supported milestone

Community of care: There are now 171 McGrath Breast Care Nurses across Australia, but more are needed to ensure no one misses out on care. Photo: Supplied
Community of care: There are now 171 McGrath Breast Care Nurses across Australia, but more are needed to ensure no one misses out on care. Photo: Supplied

More than 100,000 people impacted by breast cancer have been supported by a McGrath Breast Care Nurse, and this is a huge achievement for the McGrath Foundation.

Over the last 12 months, the McGrath Foundation has placed 20 new McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities across Australia - bringing the total number to 171.

Giselle Ciavarella is one of those new nurses. She has just started her role at Mornington, joining long-standing McGrath Breast Care Nurse Jo Lovelock.

Giselle said it had been her dream to work in breast care nursing for a long time. She was inspired to become a McGrath Breast Care Nurse after doing Year 10 work experience, then university placement at East Gippsland Community Health, including working with another McGrath Breast Care Nurse, Di Gibbs.

"I'm really grateful to be a McGrath Breast Care Nurse," Giselle said, "I love this role and breast care nursing.

"Every day is very different; I help both men and women from their first diagnosis through any stage of their treatment including surgery, chemo and recovery, supporting them both emotionally and physically.

"I also act as a point of contact for families, and with everything that is going on in the world at the moment, it is a real privilege to help people.

"Part of our role is supporting patients from both the public and private sector," she said.

"Regardless of where they are based, they can look on the website and find a nurse closest to them."

The most rewarding aspect of her work, Giselle said, was helping individuals understand and prepare for the steps ahead.

"Speaking with someone and taking them through each step helps them feel less overwhelmed, and being involved in their lives and being there for them is really lovely," Giselle said.

"Getting support from the other McGrath Breast Care Nurses is also really rewarding. It's a real community.

"It has been a challenging year, but we've been able to use technology to continue offering support. As restrictions ease, I'm looking forward to seeing my patients in person again; I can't wait to hug them once more."

Pink Up Your Town is an annual fundraiser for the McGrath Foundation. Communities across Australia turn their towns pink to raise money for McGrath Breast Care Nurses and support those experiencing breast cancer.

"It supports those we look after when the community comes together for events," Giselle said.

To find out more or to make a donation, visit mcgrathfoundation.com.au.

  • ACM is proud to partner with the McGrath Foundation in support of Pink Up Your Town.
This story Pink power pushes us 100,000 steps of the way first appeared on The Canberra Times.