Imagine, if you can, getting the awful news that you have breast cancer quickly followed by news of treatment options which include having one or both of your breasts removed. As a woman (or her partner) we can relate to how stressful and scary this would be. Most of us know a friend, colleague or family member to whom this has happened.
However, what if we could help woman understand and consider all treatment options including partial breast removal (lumpectomy), or if one or both breasts had to be removed, that there are reconstruction options to help look and feel as “normal” as possible.
Now for the difficult truth : if you are in Queensland in a regional area you are much more likely to NOT be offered the option to save your breast(s) and after breast removal will most likely NOT (up to 40% UNlikely) be offered any sort of reconstruction options. Even those who are offered a chance at reconstruction often face up to 5 years of waiting for surgery on public waitlists.
Dr. Emilia Dauway, a breast surgeon trained in the USA who now works in Hervey Bay, has identified this problem and is working to help change this. She has started a non-profit organisation called ‘Restore More’, which works to educate regional women about up to date options and to provide funding to help them access reconstructive treatment which often includes travel to cities and accomodation costs.
Recently, in conjunction with a group of supporters, Dr Dauway has organised a gala charity event on October 22nd at The Hervey Bay Boat Club to raise funds for ‘Restore More’. This event sold out in weeks and we are delighted that our generous Hervey Bay Community has rallied to buy tickets and many generous local businesses and individuals have donated prizes to be raffled and auctioned on the night.
‘Restore More’ donates ALL money raised to educate and help fund women to access private reconstructive options which are costly but are timely – providing access for women within weeks or months rather than years.
Many who live in regional Queensland are shocked (as I was) when they learn that this is the truth of what women with breast cancer face when they don’t live in large cities. Even more shocking perhaps is that regional women are not provided enough information that breast conserving surgery is often possible and has similar survival outcomes to mastectomies in many cases. For this reason ‘Restore More’ is working to educate regional women by providing information that outlines their options which then allows them ask informed questions and potentially save their breasts.
If you would like to support the work of ‘Restore More’ there is a GO FUND ME page for the charity hosted by Mark Aranjo, where you can donate; all donations are tax deductible. You can be sure that ALL funds donated go towards the education and support of women as fundraisers and board members volunteer their time to keep overheads to a minimum.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Dauway for her care and concern for Queensland women and for starting and donating her time to this wonderful organisation which supports them. Thanks too to all who have supported the upcoming Gala on October 22nd and who have already donated via the Go Fund Me page.
It is truly wonderful living in such a caring community.