Solaris Cancer Care has provided a helping hand to thousands of cancer patients and their families in Western Australia. However, this May the not-for-profit charity will launch a campaign – May we Survive and Thrive, that seeks to generate support from the public to survive.
The charity, which independently funds its services, says the economic downturn has taken its toll on its financial situation and this year they have a shortfall of $200,000. This May, they aim to raise at least half of the funds required ($100,000) as part of a wider campaign May We Survive and Thrive. This will ensure they can continue to provide their vital services to the many individuals affected by cancer every day.
With over 12,000 people diagnosed in Western Australia each year, Solaris Cancer Care delivers more than $1million worth of health care through primarily free therapies, providing patients with the support to cope with the emotional and physical side effects of all types of cancer diagnosis, treatment and recovery. The therapies are science-based and integrated with mainstream cancer medical treatment.
Solaris Cancer Care was founded in 2001, after Dr David Joske, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital’s senior Clinical Consultant in Haematology and a UWA Department of Medicine’s Clinical Professor, identified a need for better information and supportive care for cancer patients.
“Quality of life is too often overlooked when considering how best to treat cancer patients. The therapies Solaris Cancer Care provide don’t provide a cure, we offer treatments and counselling to help patients and their families get through one of life’s most harrowing journeys,” said Dr David Joske.
Three out of their five centres are attached to both metropolitan and regional hospitals, including Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, St John of God Hospital, Subiaco and Albany Health Campus, allowing Solaris Cancer Care to work closely with patients’ specialists, doctors and nursing staff. The two other centres, located at Cottesloe and Bunbury, provide an additional welcoming home during and after mainstream treatment.
Solaris Cancer Care currently receives no government funding and relies solely on the donations and money raised through fundraising activities. However, the amount of money raised this year, is not substantial enough to ensure the long-term sustainability of Solaris Cancer Care. Compounding the issue is the growing number of cancer patients who need their support. The need for our services continues to rise each year – 2016/17 rose by 14 per cent and this year is looking to be closer to 20 per cent.
“We have helped our many patients and their families get through difficult times. We are now hoping the local community can help us in return with a donation that enables us to continue and widen our range of services, which we would be forever grateful,” said Dr Joske.
Solaris Cancer Care was the first of its kind in Australia and is the only Western Australian based organisation providing these vital services.
The charity has initiated several peer-reviewed papers that have been published in medical journals and is making a significant contribution to the scientific evidence of complementary therapies as effective, clinically significant non-pharmacological treatments for cancer symptoms and treatment side effects.
In 2016, Solaris Cancer Care received an Excellence in HealthCare Award from the Department of Health in the category of “Engagement with Consumers, Carers and Community”.
One-off, tax deductable donations can be made via MyCause at www.solaristhrive.com.au.