Letter from the CEO

October is always a tricky time for BCNA. Internationally, the world seems to turn pink, in support of breast cancer. It is a time when a lot of money is raised to help charities supporting those with breast cancer, but it is also a time when many women and men living with metastatic breast cancer feel more isolated and alone.

At BCNA we constantly work hard to try and get this balance right and I hope the content in this first-ever digital only edition of The Beacon represents the different experiences of Australians with breast cancer that we support.

Metastatic breast cancer webcast

BCNA’s webcast ‘Living well with metastatic breast cancer’ is one of many resources available to members living with metastatic breast cancer that provides information, support and connection. 

I hope you enjoy the stories in this edition and I would like to thank everyone who continues to generously share their experience with us. We know how important stories are in helping others feel less alone.

COVID-19 has certainly thrown many things at us as an organisation, at you, at our families and friends, and at our healthcare system. Our focus now is on addressing the issues that have arisen since the coronavirus first impacted Australia in March this year.

In particular, we have been using our voice to highlight the many challenges families right across Australia have been facing with palliative care. We have joined together with Canteen and Cancer Council Victoria to work with government on increasing community palliative care investment but also on hospitals and governments ensuring families can be together as they near end of life.

You can read more about this in the Latest News section of our website.

Thank you to everyone who completed our COVID-19 impact survey. This is the largest breast cancer consumer survey completed in Australia. The team has developed a summary of the results, which you can view  on page 10. If you need any additional support or have questions, please call our Helpline on 1800 500 258. Our team is here to help.

COVID-19 has impacted more than just the healthcare system. It has meant that our May Pink Bun campaign was postponed to October. Our 20-year partnership with Bakers Delight means the world to us. We could not have continued to provide the information, support, connection and voice for everyone affected by breast cancer without them. I would love you to go into your local Bakers Delight store, buy a Pink Bun and say thanks. If there is no local Bakers Delight near you – don’t worry! Simply learn how you can buy virtual Pink Buns and support this amazing partnership.

2020 certainly has been a year many want to forget, but I do hope that if you need support you know that we are here for you. It is important that we all stay connected and feel supported.

Finally, I wanted to say a very big thank you to our hundreds of volunteers across Australia. They are the women and men who have supported BCNA this year. Whether it be through being advocates for our network, sharing your stories, running events or processing our donations – we are a community network and we are so grateful for your commitment and passion for BCNA.

Issue 87
Spring 2020