The Illawarra Cancer Carers Inc is a properly constituted organisation whose books are audited each year. It is a highly effective and efficient organisation with no paid co-ordinator and over 270 volunteers.
The most important aspect of our work is the care and support we give to Cancer patients who attend the Cancer Care Centre – Wollongong Hospital; those hospitalised in Ward C7 – Oncology; and other areas treating/helping cancer patients. We have also provided infusion pumps for patients who are able to carry on their normal duties whilst receiving the required chemotherapy treatment at home, thus avoiding having to come to the Cancer Care Centre. Our ladies make special cushions for the Breast Cancer Patients and we maintain a supply of turbans for any Cancer patient.
Drivers are available to drive patients (who have no private transport of their own), to and from the Cancer Care Centre who attend for treatment. The cost of this service varies. Our volunteer drivers have to date, transported over 16,500 patients for treatment. We also give support to the families of cancer patients.
You will notice that we have donated a large sum of money towards Professors Clingan and Bremner’s research program being conducted at Wollongong University into a new chemotherapy drug. This is aimed to be more effective with fewer side effects than those currently being prescribed. This research on track and is progressing well.
During the years we have also assisted several of the oncology specialist sisters/nurses with funds so that they can attend staff development/training courses conducted outside the Illawarra Area Health region – this has included courses held overseas.
Our financial assistance to patients who suddenly find they have lost their job because of cancer relieves them of added stress of how they will pay for food for their families. This assistance is given on a temporary basis until help from Centrelink and other organisations is established.
From the above you will see that wherever we see a need that will assist Cancer patients, we help by making monies available for the necessary equipment provided it is within our financial situation. The oncology staff know that they can approach us for major equipment that will help cancer patients and we will do our best to cater for those needs.