June 22, 2024 2:30 PM

One Final Gesture from Cancer Assist Singleton


A donation of $54,000 will enable the purchase of surgical equipment for Singleton Hospital thanks to Cancer Assist Singleton. Pictured at the presentation are Nurse Unit Manager (NUM) Medical, acting clinical nurse manager Katie Maguire, acting health services manager Sue Paterson, Cancer Assist Singleton Helen Horne and Lyn Paix, NUM surgical services Jane Bourke and acting NUM medical Rhianna Cocking.

By Di Sneddon

A $54,000 donation to Singleton Hospital from Cancer Assist Singleton will be spent on the purchase of cancer related diagnostic equipment for the hospital.

It will also purchase surgical equipment for skin cancer procedures.

The presentation was made to hospital staff last week by Cancer Assist Singleton president Lyn Paix and treasurer Helen Horne in what is the final act for the organisation that, after 15 years, has closed its group.

It was an emotional presentation as the two women reflected on the work the group carried out in the community from when it first formed in 2009 under the auspices of the Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation.

Known back then as Singleton Women with Cancer Support Group, members decided they would assist not only women, but any man or child from Singleton who needed support with transport to treatments, medical appointments, domestic help and gardening.

“We held monthly meetings and have had a lovely group of members, our funds were raised from special events including Christmas in July, high teas, golf days, raffles and we have been fortunate to be the beneficiary of some very generous donations from both businesses and private donors,” Lyn said.

The group evolved into Cancer Assist Singleton in 2014 with the blessing of the Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation.

Over the years they have assisted 89 people on their cancer journey, some occasionally and others over many years.

“We had one young woman who we supported in all sorts of ways for nine years and when you have those long term relationships, it becomes very hard, very sad,” Lyn said.

“It becomes very hard to say goodbye to so many who have become friends,” Helen added.

Covid also made their charity work very difficult.

With an ageing group membership, some members moving away and others unable to drive, the group made the extremely difficult decision to close the group.

“Because we are Singleton based and our funds have been raised locally, the balance of our funds are being donated to Singleton Hospital for the purchase of cancer related diagnostic equipment for theatre,” Helen said.

“If this helps to save one more life, our work is done.”

The women thanked their volunteer members, their generous donors and above all, the people who allowed them to assist during their cancer journey.