Cancer patients receive support

The Mount Gambier Cancer Support Group has recently donated seven wigs and numerous thermometers to the Mount Gambier oncology unit for cancer patients.

The support group was founded in 1981 by the late Rhonda Phillips who was working as the Director of Nursing at the old Mount Gambier Hospital.

Support group secretary Colleen Connell said when Mrs Phillips was diagnosed with cancer, she found there were no support groups available for her at the time so with the assistance of a group of volunteers she established the group that exists to this day.

“Our 40th birthday party was celebrated recently at the Blue Lake Bar and Bistro with past and present members and friends,” Mrs Connell said.

“This was a great chance to share memories and friendship.”

The group helps to support clients and families from the Limestone Coast with donations staying in the community.

“Clients are referred by medical officers, the Mount Gambier oncology unit, other service providers, family, friends, or by self-referral,” Mrs Connell said.

“Contact is made by the client co-ordinator when a referral is made, sometimes a client is only seeking information, reassurance or a chat and a phone call suffices.

“In other cases, more involved needs might become evident and a meeting is organised.

“The group supports clients and family at the discretion of the committee. Confidentiality is of the upmost importance when dealing with our clients.”

Over the years the support group has donated surgical instruments to the hospital, a glass cabinet to display wigs and a chemotherapy chair to the original chemotherapy unit at the old hospital.

“We are forever grateful for the generosity of the community as it enables us to continue supporting clients throughout the Limestone Coast.”

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