A Spearwood resident Elise Tyrie has decided to participate in the national Dry July Campaign to raise funds for Solaris Cancer Care in honour of the multiple family members she has lost to cancer.
“I lost my father in 2015 to a short eighth-month kidney cancer. It was hard to watch him go through that journey but it was even harder to watch my mother figure out how to provide in-home care as his primary carer after he made the request to her,” she said.
Elise said the family wished they had learned about Solaris’s services, particularly for carers, earlier as they had only heard about the organisation after her late father’s passing.
“While we weren’t able to access Solaris services during my father’s battle, we have found the ethos behind the organisation of standing there for cancer patient, family member and carer monumental and have always recommended it to others,” she said.
Elise chose to go alcohol-free throughout the month of July and fundraise as much as she could to ensure Solaris Cancer Care would be there for more families like hers tomorrow. Solaris receives minimal government funding and relies largely on the community to sustain its operations.
For Elise, she has raised $2902 so far but hopes to reach her target of $4500.
In Elise’s family, her father has not been the only one to battle cancer. Her godmother Kim passed away from breast cancer, her cousin Zoe passed away at a young age after a tough battle with cancer, her uncle Graham passed away from melanoma and her uncle Steve also passed away from the disease.
“Within my small family group, you can see how many members are affected by this terrible disease. Almost everyone will be touched by cancer, whether it is themselves or someone they know so it is important to maintain the supportive services we have,” she said.
Solaris Cancer Care is a community not for profit that blends the best of modern medicine with evidence-based integrative cancer care.
“We support the entire family, providing support groups, counselling, complementary therapies like massage and carer’s course so family, carer and cancer patient are supported and can live well,” Solaris Cancer Care CEO Francis Lynch said.
Patients and their families can access Solaris’s supportive services at six centres – three in metropolitan Perth (Cottesloe, Subiaco and Nedlands) and three in regional Western Australia at Bunbury, Albany and Port Hedland. Most of the services are free and able to be accessed throughout the cancer journey from diagnosis to survivorship and palliative care.
Elise hopes her Cockburn community will help her spread the word and join her cause.
“If you can pass the message to your loved ones or donate to my Dry July page, those funds would go towards supporting many other families who face the similar circumstances to us,” she said.
Elise’s Dry July page can be found here.