Letter from the CEO

Welcome to the latest edition of The Beacon. If the last 18 months has taught us anything, it is that we should seek comfort in the things we can control as we continue to navigate our way through uncertainty. COVID-19 continues to challenge us at BCNA – to find new ways of connecting and supporting our community and of ensuring everyone affected by breast cancer continues to get the information and support they need.

Our online conferences have allowed us to connect with people we weren’t reaching before, particularly in regional and remote areas of Australia. In our July online conference, Treatments for Breast Cancer – Options and Considerations, more than 35 per cent of attendees were from regional Australia and nearly 4 per cent from remote Australia. Seeing these figures is extremely exciting and inspires us to continue to reach far and wide, and we can’t wait to bring you more events. If you missed the online conference, you can watch a recording of it here.

We are looking forward to bringing you our next online conference in October – topics will include breast reconstruction and living with metastatic breast cancer.

In May, despite the uncertain times, the Bakers Delight Pink Bun campaign was a resounding success. Many people went instore to buy buns and donate and we are thrilled that the campaign raised close to $1.5 million for BCNA. Thank you to everyone who supported us.

While we could not physically stand together for our Pink Lady Match at the MCG due to the COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria at the time, we were incredibly humbled by the 10,000 people-plus who supported us by donating to BCNA to stand in the ‘virtual Pink Lady’ in honour of those affected by breast cancer. This is the first time we have held this event online and as a result of our many supporters, it was a great success. Our Pink Lady Match Ambassadors were Trudy Rosman, her son Fraser who was recruited to Melbourne Football Club in the 2020 draft, and Melbourne midfielder Oskar Baker.  Oskar’s Nan and Aunt are breast cancer survivors and his mum Trudie died of the disease in 2017. Trudy and Fraser Rosman shared their remarkable story of Trudy undergoing treatment in 2020 during the pandemic while Fraser trained for the draft – a real story of love and resilience. The Pink Lady Match allowed us all to connect virtually through messages of hope and strength, and through it we raised more than $250,000 to support those affected by breast .

We recognise that our community have questions and concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines and how they could affect your health and treatment. We have continued to provide up-to-date information through the My Journey content which is available via our online tool and new app. In this edition we have examined the key facts around the vaccination.

I want to reassure you that our team is here to support you. We know how important that is, especially during uncertain times. You can call the BCNA helpline on 1800 500 258 Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm AEST.

My thanks to each one of you for being part of our network and helping one another navigate our current state of normality together.

Kirsten Pilatti

Chief Executive Officer

Issue 88
Winter 2021