While the battle may have been won, the war is far from over for the Tamworth Serendipity committee, as it now changes its target back to a support role.
The volunteer committee was at the forefront of a five-year battle to get Tamworth the services of a breast care nurse any way they could, and after the McGrath Foundation announced on Monday that they would provide funding for a minimum of three years, the girls are already planning their next move.
Over 18 months ago, Serendipity formed a sub-committee with eight other allied health care workers to specifically target a breast care nurse for the region.
One of those members was the Cancer Council’s community engagement officer Dimity Betts, and the former Country Music Queen believes the addition of the nurse gives the North West Cancer Centre the full set when it come to breast cancer care and services.
“Having a nurse coming to Tamworth is an amazing addition to the Cancer Centre and a great outcome,” Mrs Betts said. There was a real gap in this community and the nurse will be a really valuable addition. We now have the full suite of services in Tamworth, one of the best in Australia, and now we have to keep working to enhance that.”
While the services at the cancer centre range from everything from oncologists through to the new nurse and plenty more, Tamworth also has some lesser known services that are equally important to people who are unfortunately on a cancer journey.
These include support groups, the two mastectomy bra fitting services, the wig library, trained mastectomy masseurs and plenty more, and that is what the Serendipity girls are now going to revert their focus to, as well as supporting the new nurses role.
Serendipity President Liney Manning said they will wait and see exactly what the McGrath Foundation role involves before they holster their guns.
“We are very excited to get a nurse and now our role will be to support that position and all the other wonderful breast care services,” Mrs Manning said.
“They might extra training, or to attend conferences and the like and we will assist in any way we can. We would also like to host a community night when the position gets filled and introduce the community to the nurse and vice versa and just let everyone know exactly what services we have available.”