‘Going dry’ this July in support of cancer-affected families is something Umina Beach local, Carol, can get behind.
Carol was part of the Central Coast Local Health District’s CoastCanCare wellness program which aims to help locals living with cancer.
The program is a local beneficiary of the national Dry July campaign, with donations helping to fund free wellbeing and recovery activities for cancer patients, their families and carers.
Breast cancer survivor, Carol, said the program helped her through one of the hardest times of her life.
“I started doing one of their exercise classes with the goal to just regain my fitness as quickly as possible after treatment and from there I met some lovely people and got into tai chi and meditation and art therapy,” Carol said.
“CoastCanCare has got me back to work, it’s got me motivated and thinking positively.
“It’s been essential for me as I went through my diagnosis and treatment alone as I didn’t have family close by so CoastCanCare offered that support.
“You have a medical team to take care of your body but CoastCanCare takes care of your mind.
The program includes motivational education sessions, group mindfulness, meditation, exercise workshops and music therapy.
Carol said she has made some great companions through CoastCanCare.
“Everybody there knows the horror of diagnosis, the horror of treatment and difficulty thinking about the future – but we don’t talk about that,” she said.
“We are all there for each other and have an unspoken support for each other.
“It sounds miserable being in a support program for people living with cancer – but it is quite the opposite – nobody is miserable.
“Cancer isn’t fun but CoastCanCare is about coming together and having fun – I truly would have been lost without it.”
For locals wanting to participate in Dry July and help local people affected by cancer like Carol, the sign up sheet can be found online at Dry July Foundation.
Media release, June 10
Central Coast Local Health District