Choices, The Wesley Hospital’s cancer support program for breast and gynaecological cancer patients, has expanded to offer a comprehensive wellness program for anyone with a cancer diagnosis.
The program which began in 1998 as a legacy to the late Kim Walters, wife of former Brisbane Broncos captain Kevin Walters, has been re-named The Wesley Hospital Choices Cancer Support Centre and has a new home at the heritage-listed Drysllwyn House in Auchenflower.
Clinical Nurse Manager Janine Porter-Steele, who has been with Choices since its inception, said the aim was to meet participants’ holistic needs.
“Cancer affects the whole person physically, mentally and emotionally so we offer evidence-based care, guidance, resources, peer-to-peer support, rehabilitation and education to assist people through a very challenging time.
“Our service supports people through their cancer treatment and beyond, helping them to get their lives back on track and stay well,” she said.
Peer Support Coordinator Leonie Young has worked at Choices for 16 years and has battled breast cancer herself.
She was a young woman, aged 32, and caring for two young children when she was diagnosed in 1987.
Having gone from survivor to supporter, she understands that each individual has varying needs and concerns and are at different stages of their treatment or recovery.
“It is important to feel that you are not alone following a cancer diagnosis.
“There were few support programs in the ‘80s when I was first diagnosed and that’s why I’m an advocate of support services that treat the whole person.
“We welcome anyone who has had a cancer diagnosis, you don’t have to be a patient of The Wesley to access our services which includes access to specialist nurses, counselling, physiotherapy, support groups, and complementary therapies such as yoga, tai chi and meditation,” she said.
As a not-for-profit service, Choices receives no government funding and relies on donations from the community to fund its free services and therapies to people in need.
The Wesley Hospital Choices Cancer Support Centre is at 47 Cadell St, Auchenflower. Phone 3377 9875 or visit www.wesley.com.au/choices