Breast cancer sufferers from around the region will now have access to a life-changing service, after the McGrath Foundation unveiled Nerridah Prentice in the new role of Breast Care Nurse at the North West Cancer Centre.
Mrs Prentice is a Tamworth local who spent the first 20 years of her career in operating theatres, before spending the last 12 years on the oncology ward at the Cancer Centre, including time in the Cancer Coordinator role.
Serendipty and the Tamworth community lobby for a McGrath Nurse:
One in eight Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, and it is those startling statistics, her experience, and a personal story of watching her sister-in-law battle breast cancer with the help of a McGrath Nurse in Toowoomba that made her the perfect candidate to take on the role.
“My experience gives me a really good grounding of what patients are going through, and the opportunity to bring constant support for all of my patients, right at home in Tamworth, is an exciting one,” Mrs Prentice said.
Mrs Prentice is the 117th McGrath Nurse in Australia, with the role the living legacy of the late Jane McGrath. Her best friend, now foundation director and ambassador Tracy Bevan flew into Tamworth on Tuesday for the announcement, and also to pick up a $21,171.20 cheque from Wests Entertainment Group from the Country Turns Pink concert in January.
“Tamworth has been a fantastic supporter of the McGrath Foundation for so many years, so to be able to see a nurse as passionate as Nerridah supporting the community is wonderful,” Mrs Bevan said.
“I personally made a promise to Jane that no matter what we would continue her mission – that one day every single Australian family experiencing breast cancer would have the support of a free breast care nurse, so we are really proud that we can bring Nerridah to the community.”
The Tamworth role was established after a period of robust lobbying from local volunteer cancer organisation Serendipity, and other stakeholders, earlier in the year.
Serendipity President Liney Manning was “absolutely delighted that our community advocacy, proactive support and participation has resulted in the eventual placement of a McGrath nurse in Tamworth.
“We very much look forward to Neriddah taking a significant role in the Breast Care program, in conjunction with the fantastic service already offered at the Cancer Centre.”
Tamworth Hospital general manager Catharine Death said that the new role will significantly add to the already “world class Cancer Centre and the level of care that can be provided.”