Support service expands in honour of breast cancer victim

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A Sunshine Coast breast cancer victim’s legacy will live on, after the foundation set up in her honour received a permanent home this week.

Cindy Mackenzie was 39 when she lost her battle with breast cancer in 2006.

Cindy Mackenzie received treatment at The Sunshine Coast PH

Cindy Mackenzie received treatment at The Sunshine Coast PH

Her devoted family and friends set up the Cindy Mackenzie Breast Cancer Foundation the following year.

Eight years on, the foundation has transferred its operations and assets to UnitingCare Health’s The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital – the same facility Cindy was treated at during her cancer battle.

The foundation will now be known as The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital Cindy Mackenzie Breast Cancer Program.

Cindy’s husband, John O’Leary said passing the baton to the hospital will allow the program to grow and better serve breast cancer patients and their families.

“This is an exciting new chapter under the direction of the hospital team who are committed to further expanding services for local breast cancer patients and their families,” Mr O’Leary said.

Since it was established in 2007, the foundation has supported more than 350 women living with breast cancer.

It is an amazing effort for a small grassroots charity, but the foundation has always wanted to help more sufferers.

The hospital's team of committed staff will expand the service to help more sufferers

The hospital’s team of committed staff will expand the service to help more sufferers

When The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital announced earlier this year it was opening a breast clinic, the foundation approached the hospital about the possibility of working together to expand the program.

The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital general manager Wallis Westbrook is pleased an agreement was reached between the two organisations and said the service will prosper alongside the hospital’s existing services.

“We have demonstrated our commitment to assist people affected by breast cancer through establishment of the breast clinic, which opened in March this year, and the services to be offered by our Cindy Mackenzie Breast Cancer Program will complement these services,” Mr Westbrook said.

“We will endeavour to build on the work of the Cindy Mackenzie Breast Cancer Foundation and draw on the hospital’s expertise in areas such as psychology, rehabilitation and nutrition to develop programs focused on health and well-being.”

cindy-mackenzie-breast-care-program

The foundation hopes the community will get behind and support its fundraising events

Mr Westbrook said patients will be consulted while the service is being designed.

“The exact model of service to be offered by the program will evolve through consultation with breast cancer patients and their family members,” he said.

The hospital will aim to raise money through fundraising activities conducted by individuals and businesses across the Sunshine Coast and Mr Westbrook encouraged the community to show its support.

“We are currently preparing for Pinktober, the popular event that raises money and community awareness of the need for breast cancer services, which will be held throughout October,” he said.

“We hope the Sunshine Coast community will continue to support Pinktober by organising high teas and other events just like in previous years.”

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