The Think Pink Foundation provides professional and caring holistic support completely free of charge to patients, their families and carers at any stage of their journey with breast cancer.
The generous financial support of MIRVAC included the provision of a new $2 million living centre at Docklands in 2020 – further support included Think Pink’s fundraising events such as the Mirvac Golf Day with financial sponsorship, providing staff volunteers and logistical support, all of which has enabled the Think Pink Foundation to assist thousands of women and their families since 2010.
Breast cancer can happen to anyone at any time and through the ongoing long term support of MIRVAC and its staff and suppliers Think Pink has been able to deliver supportive care; care that is respective of and responsive to families needs.
This support was crucial especially during the arrival or COVID-19 when the Think Pink Living Centre (within a week) pivoted the entire operation onto ZOOM – breaking down the tyranny of distance and increasing numbers of services by 300%.
Thank You Mirvac for assisting us to provide the best social, psychological and practical support to hundreds of women and their families to enable a caring program through breast cancer journey.
With ZOOM being used to deliver Think Pink Services there has been an increase in clients from country and regional Victoria including towns such as Echuca, Mildura, Mallacoota, Mount Martha, Drouin, Warragul, Strathfieldsaye, and Ballarat.
In their words - clients appreciate MIRVAC's support
I consider myself to be a positive person, was no stranger to adversity and pretty in touch with the fact that “life is short” when diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 48. In the preceding two decades one of my younger sisters’ had died by suicide, my parents had both died in their 60’s within 2 years of each other and I had to terminate a much wanted, and what was to be my only, pregnancy, at 16 weeks, letting go of a long held dream of having children.
Already on a path of self discovery and well versed at seeking out support as I needed it I was overwhelmed by the love and resources available to me through Think Pink. Having endured the usual suspects of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, and lost all of my hair in the process, I attended one of the Day’s of Indulgence. What a gift it was to be pampered in that way at a time I was at my most vulnerable. Andrea and Ros were like rays of sunshine and introduced me to the wonderful sanctuary that is Think Pink’s Living Centre. Over the coming months and years as I continued to heal and recover, I became a regular attendee at the Mindfulness sessions offered by Cheryne Blom. There are not enough words to express how much I have learnt and continue to learn from Cheryne. Her generosity of spirit and the delightful analogies she uses to explain how our brains work and how to utilise all the wonderful resources we have within us inspire me and I often hear myself quoting her words of wisdom.
Earlier this year I booked into Think Pink’s Career Workshop and was introduced to Maike Schroeder. Maike was so generous with her time and expertise. She helped me drop “my story” around my work history, enabling me to view my resume through new eyes, seeing only my achievements and all the skills and experience I could offer a future employer. I am sure this made all the difference when I put myself forward for my first job since my diagnosis and even in the uncertain environment that COVID-19 has created, within months of our first meeting I had landed my dream job, one that met all of my criteria.
I was diagnosed with Grade 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer in December 2019.
I had just returned from a 4 week trip to Europe and was feeling the best I had felt in years.
I had nursed my mother in my home for the last 5 months of her life the year before and had suffered extreme trauma with toxic family members. The stress after her death was awful and being executor of her will, I had to relegate it to a solicitor and have a restraining order taken out on family members. I truly believe that this was the time I developed cancer.
I am a Nurse of 44 years and now work as a Personal Trainer/ Nutritionist with my husband and my 2 businesses. I have 2 children and 2 granddaughters (4 and 7 years old). My son has lived in the USA for the past 6 years and my daughter is nearby.
My world fell apart after my diagnosis. Being told you have cancer at the age of 62 was life changing.
That first week was such a blur with GP appointment, Breast Surgeon appointment, biopsy, Oncologist appointment, full body CT and bone scan and starting chemotherapy all in the space of 7 days. Phew!!!
The plan was to have 6 months of 16 cycles of chemo (4 AC & 12 Taxol), lumpectomy with node removal and then radiation. I am extremely sensitive to medication and suffered terribly after the first chemo cycle so much so that the 2nd dose was reduced by 20%, the 3rd dose was reduced a further 10% as I was bedridden for 12 days post chemo. Prior to being given the 4th and final AC, it was decided by my Oncologist to go straight to the weekly Taxol as the side effects were too demanding on my body. I had the 1st Taxol and a week later I developed severe chest pain and went to ED. It was discovered that I had a mild heart attack.
One thing I am forever grateful for was that my 3cm tumour had decreased in size after the 1st cycle of AC and after the 2nd cycle, the tumour could no longer be felt.
Dear Andrea, firstly – thank you for having gone miles above and beyond your call of duty, for taking care of me and my family during the most difficult time of our lives. As soon as the diagnosis happened, you made sure my extended medical team knew about my changed health condition.
When I was in hospital, things went a little pear shaped to my family to say the least. When I got home, you did everything in your control to make sure not only myself, but also my husband and children were OK. The word “ok” is so short and simple, but it means the world to someone facing a crisis such as us. Secondly, in the last two months, my world has changed with the second diagnosis; and the world has changed with COVID-19.
Thank goodness my Think Pink world hasn’t really changed!I really like how Think Pink still have the regular sessions via Zoom, even though I haven’t really been attending but it really provides relief for our mental health, including mine, knowing it’s there when I am up to it.
Well Done Andrea and the Think Pink team! And, may I save the best for last: You and Ros are there for me as always! Take care and best wishes.
Dear Michelle & Think Pink – being a scuba diving instructor with a lot of physical exercise in my job, there has been almost no exercise from me since my double mastectomy and Diep Flap stomach removal – in March this year. Everything just seemed too hard or too scary to do, and I worried I’ll exacerbate my pain areas.
After attending a Zoom class with Michelle this morning, I sat on the floor and cried at the fact I have finally found something I am able to do and that brought feelings of achievement. It’s made me feels so much better about getting back into some form of fitness for myself.
Michelle was amazing in her descriptions and advice in the exercises, and I will def be back for the next class.
Thank you so much to her and the time she places into helping us and guide us through Pilates in her classes, and thank you to the hard-working staff at Think Pink who allow this to happen.
I can’t thank you fabulous souls at Think Pink nearly enough for providing such wonderful support for us as we travel our journeys with cancer. The variety of programs offered means there is something to aid & interest everyone. New ideas and knowledge are always helpful & joining in is always a really positive experience for me. It’s good being divided into dedicated groups for some of the days – it keeps the info relevant. I know the others in my group really understand ‘the road’.
Knowing support is there for the asking is gold.
How The Living Centre Programs work for our clients
Traditionally Think Pink offered services only onsite at our Living Centre, a unique state-of-the-art, independent and nonclinical wellness facility, located in Melbourne’s Docklands. Our team has always assisted rural and regional Victorians with the practical aspects of a breast cancer diagnosis, for example, by offering accommodation a our Living Centre.
In early 2020, in response to COVID-19 our staff designed and piloted a new online model of delivery. This model has led to the innovative use of technology to support breast cancer patients and their carers and families.
It has enabled the exchange of health information and provision of programs and services over a much greater geographical area – particularly reaching many more people living in rural and regional Victoria. These people have unique supportive care needs, as they are more likely to face disadvantages in accessing cancer services and support. This model increases access and participation in our
programs and services by allowing them to remain at home.
In 2019, it was estimated that 19,371 women and 164 men were diagnosed with breast cancer (AIHW, 2019).
Imagine you have just been diagnosed with breast cancer. The world as you know it has just been turned upside down and you have to ask yourself questions like:
- What is going to happen to my family and me now?
- How will I continue to work and earn money?
- Am I going to die?
- Who will look after my family if anything happens to me?
- How will my partner, family and friends react to my diagnosis?
- Will my life ever return to the way it was before I was diagnosed?
- What can I do and where can I get help?
The breast cancer journey is an emotional and physical roller coaster and a breast cancer diagnosis can bring a range of unexpected emotions. Uncertainty and fear of the future, changes in personal and family relationships, a sense of isolation – these are just some of the emotions that may be felt when one is diagnosed. Research (CCV 2020; Schmid-Büchi, van den Borne, Dassen & Halfens, 2010; Liao et al., 2012) has shown that in addition to receiving best-practice medical treatment, looking after the psychological and emotional aspects of breast cancer is also very important to patient outcomes, their wellbeing and quality of life. Supportive care is an umbrella term used to describe a range of services that may be needed to support people with cancer.
Supportive care is something that all people with cancer can benefit from. These supportive needs can be broken down into three
- Physical needs
- Psychological needs
- Practical needs
Supportive care needs are present at any stage of a patient’s cancer journey. To meet these care needs, Think Pink continues to deliver programs and services to hundreds of people annually affected by cancer in urban, rural and regional areas.
At Think Pink we value the partnerships formed with organisations and individuals who support our mission financial support, pro bono services, volunteering and donated goods.
We work together to establish sustainable relationships that benefit our partners and Think Pink clients. Through these partnerships we can provide a better journey through breast cancer for patients and their families.
We are proud of the partnerships such as the one with MIRVAC that have supported Think Pink us for many years Our work and provision of services an assistance to both women and men facing the challenges of breast cancer supply would not be possible without MIRVACS ongoing support.