2 July, 2021
A group of dedicated volunteers from across the Western Plains region has established the Western Cancer Centre Foundation.
The volunteer-based charitable entity aims to provide facilities and resources in addition to the medical treatment offered by the new Western Cancer Centre to residents of Dubbo and surrounding areas.
“The Western Cancer Centre is a government funded cancer centre, and we are a foundation that raises money to support that centre.
“We are a not-for-profit charity, and we are there to help with the things that patients need that are not funded by the government,” said Cr Ash Walker, one of the 10 volunteers on the foundation’s board.
“Every single person that I speak to has been touched by someone who has passed away from cancer, and I just think it’s something that’s close to my heart.
“The money raised is raised locally and within our region. We are a volunteer board, all run by professionals. We have a solicitor, an accountant, a retired surgeon, the head of the Dubbo Cancer Centre.
“We’ve got a practicing doctor there, head of the Cancer Centre nursing staff, then a group of community members who are passionate about supporting the people in our region with cancer,” said Cr Walker.
After losing his wife to ovarian cancer in 2014, Cr Brian Mockler, also a member of the foundation’s board, is happy to support in any way he can.
“I’ve just been happy to contribute through my personal experience through my wife’s ovarian cancer journey, and also because in my other life I was a legal practitioner.
“This committee was formed and was after someone with some legal background to provide some free advice and suggestions, so I offered my services,” said Cr Mockler.
Cr Mockler noticed the gap in supplementary services and assistance within the oncology unit during his wife’s cancer journey.
“You just turned up, had your dose, whether it took one, five or six hours, and then go home. So, the idea with the foundation is to provide supplementary services, support services, for example dietitians, support workers, specialist chairs, a whole lot extra. Which will rely 100 per cent on donations from the community. We are a distinct organisation to the Western Cancer Centre, but we work with them,” said Cr Mockler.
The foundation was legally established 18 months ago and is in the beginning stages of growth. One member of the board, Sue Lovett, is a blind Paralympian, who through her efforts, has raised over $80,000. These funds are held by the Mudgee Lions Club and is ready to be handed over to the foundation.