Having the right information and support can make things a little easier when confronted with a cancer diagnosis, be it for a loved one, a colleague or even yourself.
The Hume Regional Integrated Cancer Service community ambassador program (CAP) has been established to ensure members of the local community have access to this invaluable support.
‘‘The need was highlighted that consumers really want information from other consumers, not just health care professionals,’’ Hume RICS service improvement facilitator Rebecca McAllister said.
‘‘Peer-to-peer information sharing is really great.’’
Led and facilitated by a volunteer who has lived with cancer either directly or indirectly, the goal of the CAP is to ensure members of the community have the best experience of the cancer treatment and care system available to them.
Local volunteer Tracey Russell was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, and also has experience of family members with cancer.
Ms Russell’s treatment and recovery journey inspired her to become a part of the program.
‘‘I’ve had such fantastic care here in the region. I really wanted to help others through their experience and give them more knowledge,’’ she said.
The goal of the program is to improve health literacy and increase community awareness of cancer support services in the Hume region.
‘‘It’s support for the supporters, too,’’ Ms Russell said.
‘‘It can be harder for them, sometimes. The benefit of information sharing is key, and the benefit of support, whether it’s financial, emotional or physical,’’ Ms McAllister said.
‘‘After your treatment, that’s just as important.’’
For more information, phone Rebecca McAllister at Hume RICS on 58328301 or email [email protected] humehealth.org.au