Vital initiative raises money for breast cancer support services
Ros Worthington is an amazing woman by anyone’s standard.
It’s not just that, after a rough start in life, she has devoted her time to helping others. It’s the sheer joy, love and empathy that she brings to every conversation – especially when that conversation is about Breast Cancer Care (BCC).
Dr Worthington founded the service 14 years ago to help, not just women with breast cancer, but their partners and children – even after death. It’s a service that brings nursing, comfort and practical help to these families when they need it most.
BCC receives no government funding – but you won’t hear its indomitable founder moaning. She’s too busy singing the praises of the individuals and corporate sponsors who support it through programs like Buying Time, which encourages people to donate one hour of their pay to the initiative. The money will then be shared between BCC and the McGrath Foundation.
Dr Worthington’s enthusiasm bubbles over as soon she starts talking about the program. ”It will make all the difference in the world, for two reasons,” she says. ”Raising awareness of breast cancer has been my priority from the day I started BCC, because early detection saves lives. The other thing is we need to be able to raise funds to continue to give the free services we give to women with breast cancer.
”We don’t get any government funding, so we rely on the wonderful support we get from the wonderful people in the community and, of course, our corporates – we couldn’t do without our corporates. And now with Buying Time, the most wonderful thing to come out of this is that it’s being corporate led. So we have 20 wonderful corporates over here that are leading the charge to raise funds for BCC.”
Dr Worthington said Buying Time was a collaboration with the McGrath Foundation.
”We’re very different, even though we have the same goals,” she says. ”So money raised through this campaign will go to funding breast care nurses.”
Dr Worthington founded BCC with two volunteers.
”It’s unique because we do things that no other charities do,” she says. ”We help with child minding and housework. And those are the things that women stress about when we get breast cancer. We help the families if the lady’s passed away. It’s so important that we continue to give support to them, even after someone has passed away.”
For Dr Worthington, the cause is very close to her heart. Her mum was 34 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer and Dr Worthington herself had a mastectomy and reconstruction at the age of 34. And in the 1990s she started New Zealand’s first mastectomy boutique, helping women with breast cancer, a concept she later brought to Australia.
She said the funds raised through Buying Time would do just that – buy time for women with breast cancer to do the things they needed to do or ease their burden in some practical way.
“It might give her extra time with her family, some down time or a holiday. We might pay the electricity bill or help with their rent” she says.
“Those funds will enable us to double our services. We can get a couple more counsellors, which is what we really need.”
Another unique part of the BCC service is its efforts to help the state’s indigenous women with the disease.
‘”We put a lot of time into our indigenous sisters,” Dr Worthington said. “So we have an indigenous counsellor.”
She said people who contributed to Buying Time could help a woman with breast cancer to have a better quality of life. “I think every one of us knows somebody or has lost somebody to breast cancer,” Dr Worthington says.
“By buying one hour of time, people should know it is really going to make a huge difference in the lives of women with breast cancer. I like to ask many, many people for a small donation rather than a small amount of people for a large donation. If everyone can donate just $10 or $20 or an hour of their pay, it’s going to be absolutely awesome.”
Homeloans Ltd support
Dr Worthington said she was overwhelmed by the support from Homeloans when she approached the company with the fledgling project. “I’m over the moon that Homeloans are on board because it’s a wonderful organisation,” she says.
Homeloans’ national marketing manager Will Keall calls the initiative “one that really stands out as a cause that has such a strong meaning to so many Australians.”
“We proudly support Buying Time, and encourage our staff, business partners and customers to please make a donation to a cause which is providing much needed support for Australians impacted by breast cancer. Even a small donation can make a huge difference.”
To support Buying Time, go to www.homeloans.com.au/buying-time