A cancer survivor offers her advice for seeking support

SPREADING THE WORD: Pink Ribbon event organiser Carolyn Keep, Cancer Council's Bree Kelly and Camilla Thompson want cancer sufferers to know where to get support.

SPREADING THE WORD: Pink Ribbon event organiser Carolyn Keep, Cancer Council's Bree Kelly and Camilla Thompson want cancer sufferers to know where to get support.

Carolyn Keep is a cancer survivor who wants everyone to have the same access to support she’s had.

Speaking to the Central Western Daily at a Cancer Council preview of its new ‘every minute, every hour, every day’ campaign, Ms Keep said that when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2015 she didn’t know all the services that were available to her.

“Almost immediately after getting the bad news I received a phone call from the McGrath Foundation informing me of how they could help,” said Ms Keep

“The support I received was really amazing.

“It wasn’t until I’d finished my treatment that I realised my experience wasn’t universal.”

Through discussions with other survivors, Ms Keep discovered other patients weren’t accessing the same care.

“I think the message of what help was available just wasn’t getting to the people who needed it,” she explained.

Bree Kelly, Communications Coordinator for Cancer Council’s Orange branch, said it saddened her each time she heard that feedback.

“We listen to the feedback we receive both from our social media and when we walk down the streets of our community,” said Ms Kelly.

“We’ve found that people are aware of the Cancer Council’s research and fundraisers but they aren’t always aware of the support services we provide.”

Coinciding with World Cancer Day on Sunday, the Cancer Council’s new message is designed to let people know there is always help available.

“We want rural people to know that we are here to assist with the practical and logistical aspects of treatment and recovery,” said Camilla Thompson, Community Programs Coordinator for Cancer Council.

“It could be in the form of transport to and from appointments, organising accommodation or helping out with the legal issues that may arise.”

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