As part of Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, survivor Wendy Paterson shared her story with Moreton Daily about how she felt following her diagnosis in 2008 to starting a not-for-profit charity that supports now other women.
Knowing how scary it can be to have your diagnosis confirmed, Wendy vowed to herself if she survived, she would do everything in her power to help other women.
“When I went through my breast cancer journey with my friend Barb, I found women spend a lot of time in waiting rooms,” Wendy told Moreton Daily.
“We met lots of other women - many who had travelled long distances to get there - and by talking to them we found many were falling through the cracks.”
That’s when Be Uplifted was created.
This was Wendy’s way of providing a range of vital services to reassure and support women during their time of need.
Wendy, and the other volunteers from Be Uplifted, ensure every woman who reaches out for help feels loved, by providing them with “We Care” hampers.
All the “We Care” hampers are specially packed by volunteers with the needs of a breast cancer patient in mind.
Inside the baskets are items such as face washers, toiletries, cosmetic bags, a notebook, a packet of handmade cards and a soft teddy.
The organisation also likes to hand out quilts and provide a space where women can come and make their own.
About Wendy Paterson
Wendy Paterson is the Co-Founder of Be Uplifted Inc - a not-for-profit charity that raises money to provide practical care and financial assistance to breast cancer patients, survivors and their families during treatments.
Wendy was inspired to start up the organisation when she and a friend were both diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008.
Scared they were not going to make it, Wendy and her friend Barb decided if they did survive, they would dedicate their life to helping other women in the same situation.
Today, Be Uplifted is based in the Brisbane suburb of Boondall, where a number of dedicated volunteers run one of the organisation’s op shops. A second op shop can also be found in Strathpine.
In Boondall, Wendy and her team provide help and support to women who have been diagnosed, currently going through treatment, and the lucky ones who are in remission.
Some of the services Be Uplifted provides include counselling, art therapy, Zen exercise classes, hairdressing services, house cleaning, food deliveries, crocheted knockers - which are external prostheses that provide the look and shape of a breast - as well as arranging transport to treatment, donating drain bags to local hospitals for lumpectomy and mastectomy patients, and providing breast cancer resources and information.
It also offers individual financial assistance and will help cancer patients pay for practical everyday items such as medications, medical tests, food, electricity and phone bills, so families can still be in touch and supportive even if it’s from a long distance.
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