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Supporting people living with cancer since 1993

March 2022 Newsletter

Hello again to all our dear Life Force members, friends and supporters.

As we forge ahead into 2022, we must give a huge vote of thanks to our wonderful donors who have kept us going for another year despite the many struggles, financial and otherwise, experienced by all. Without your continuing support we would not be able to deliver our valuable supportive care services here in Sydney, via Zoom, and across regional New South Wales. Thank you for caring!

Also, thanks to all of you who have sponsored the Life Force team in the upcoming Beach2Beach FunRun – promise we are in training!


These last years have been a difficult time for so many people with the pandemic, recent horrific flood devastation in many areas, and world affairs in a terrible state.
We send our love and good wishes to all those affected, and hope for healings and blessings to come their way as they face the challenges ahead.

We are not designed to go through crises alone, so it is important that we reach out for support in times of distress.  It is important for cancer patients to know that there is a
program of support available to help with whatever challenges they must face. This is why the Life Force support groups are a wonderful haven for those going through difficult times. Mutual understanding and caring, experiencing a common predicament is so supportive and a powerful component of healing. There is enduring strength in the acknowledgement of a shared experience.

The counselling team continue their wonderful work in creating a safe space for sharing and processing feelings, and just talking about what has been going on for you.
To join one of our groups:
Call Jane: 0412 643 751
In the pipeline …


This year sees an expansion of our services with plans afoot for our new “Life Force Cancer Foundation Care & Repair Shop”, a support group for veterans with cancer.
For more information call Jilly: 0408 610 362


In addition, we will be conducting another regional program for cancer survivors in Western and Central Western NSW Local Health District in May this year. These programs provide a continuum of care for those transitioning from active treatment to life post hospital care. Owing to economic needs in country areas, Life Force offers these programs, workshops and retreats free of charge to participants.
For more information call Jilly: 0408 610 362

“We cannot ignore the suffering of the mind when the body is seriously ill. The two cannot be separated.”

Spoken by Professor Jimmie Holland at a conference in Melbourne some years ago.

Prof. Jimmie Holland was a pioneer in the field of psycho-oncology. Her whole focus was on the psychosocial distress of cancer patients and their families and loved ones.

“One of the things that I’ve learned in 40 years is that our emotions are exactly the same,” Dr. Holland said. “They haven’t changed one iota over millennia. It’s fear. It’s worry. It’s what’s going to happen to me and what’s going to happen to my family. All of those fears are there.

In treating cancer patients’ mental wellbeing, Dr. Holland rejected what she called “the tyranny of positive thinking.”
A good attitude was one thing, she argued, and the idea of mind over matter might be like chicken soup — it couldn’t hurt, as long as it was coupled with competent medical care. But pep talks were not enough, she said.

“It’s bad enough to have cancer,” she told the website in 2015, “but when all of your family and friends are saying that you have to be positive and you have to fight this thing, and the patient is exhausted and beaten up by the treatments — it seemed to me that adding that burden to be positive was just ridiculous.”
In a letter to The New York Times in 1985, Dr. Holland and a colleague, Morton Bard, wrote of cancer patients, “Should they be viewed as weak or as somehow having contributed to their own demise?”
Our goal at Life Force is to alleviate the suffering of our fellow human beings who are facing cancer.     Whatever you feel is normal – shock, denial, disbelief, isolation, anger and fear.

Following the loss of a loved one to cancer, bereaved family members are at heightened risk for mental and physical health problems; however, these family members often "fall through the cracks" of the healthcare system.

This is where Life Force steps in to fill the gap with our Carers Group.
Carers & Bereavement Group meets weekly
Thursday evening, 6 to 7.30pm via Zoom
Call Jane: 0412 643 751

Focus on Healing the Whole
Treatment of depression, grief and loss in cancer care can improve patients’ quality of life, their adherence to therapy recommendations, and the illness experience, all of which may affect survival outcomes.
“I believe there is a need to work towards bringing about a change in focus within the health care system – from the strictly bio-medical perspective to a patient-centred approach, which takes into account the subjective experience of the individual patient and the meaning and impact of their illness on their life and their recovery and healing – an approach to health care which is more than just a narrow focus on the body.” said Jilly Pascoe, in 1999’

Despite this long-held understanding for many, it seems there is an ongoing need to promote and restate this important knowledge.
Life Force support groups have always been about healing the whole person, and are open to people of all genders and all cancer types.
Patients & Survivors Group meets weekly
Monday evening, 6.00 to 7.30pm via Zoom
Call Jane: 0412 643 751
Beach2Beach Fun Run

A few members of the Life Force Road Runners are getting in some final training before the fun run! 
Our Beach2Beach target is to raise $5000 for the foundation and we are so grateful for the donations that we have received so far - a BIG thank you!
If you would like to donate or join our Beach2Beach team please visit this link:
See you at the beach!

Vale dear William Hurt

In 1996 William gave a wonderful recital to raise funds for Life Force Cancer Foundation. "An Evening with William Hurt" selected readings.
We remember him with great fondness and heartfelt thanks for his amazing generosity in giving his time to support our work with cancer patients - a beautiful gesture.
Here is an excerpt from The City Weekly November 14th - 20th 1996:

“Hollywood actor William Hurt - who has been in Sydney filming Dark City - surprised a packed audience at the Wharf Theatre a few weeks ago. The reclusive actor gave an enchanting poetry recital to raise funds for the Life Force Cancer Foundation. The performance was strictly for fans and those lucky enough to have heard about the hush-hush performance. Hurt read a series of works by famous poets, as well as moving poems written by cancer sufferers."
This special event was a magical never-to-be-forgotten experience. To a packed auditorium at the Wharf Theatre, William read from the works of Thoreau, Shaw, Cormac McCarthy, among others, as well as poems written by Life Force group members. The atmosphere was extraordinary, the audience was spellbound. It is difficult to convey in words just how people's hearts were touched on that night, not least of all William himself.
Here is a quote from his opening speech:
"In facing life and death, we sometimes find an incalculably precious gift: the gift of appreciation, of just what it is that makes so fragile and temporary a form of existence so infinitely valuable. A glimpse of the truth is an eternity of truth, and when we share fully, our pain as well as our pleasure, not for gratuitous attention but out of appreciation, and out of our legitimate need to be heard, not by those who would feign to take responsibility for us, but who would help in the hearing, by the corroboration, us to become our selves, our true selves, help us instead to appreciate and accept responsibility for ourselves. By this we are fulfilled and gladdened and empowered.
Thus we are freed.
That is what you do when you share your lives, your real lives, your pain as well as your courage, with each other, you make life exist, you create the meaning of life itself, you give the gift of meaning and make that reality exist. The more we do this, the more we will help each other discover the courage within ourselves to do this. Thus we are made more and more whole. Life is nothing if it is only business or commerce. Our true mind is our feelings, the wise interpretation of them in a balanced framework and perspective."
These words of William's describe the very essence of the philosophy behind the work of Life Force Foundation. We are very touched and inspired by his attunement to what he called in his speech; "the song of life" and his desire to "sing life's existence and the essential miracle of that."
Love and thanks dear William.
Rest in Peace.
In 2021 we welcomed a new batch of Life Force ‘Angels’ to join the rest of the host of volunteers, and they are in the process of formulating directions for 2022 as everything begins to open up again.
We are hoping for some exciting and dynamic fundraising events in the months ahead.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank this enthusiastic team who give their time and energy so willingly to support the work of Life Force.
Wishing all of you, our members, supporters and friends love and peace.
The Life Force Team.
Copyright © 2022 Life Force Cancer Foundation, All rights reserved.

ABN: 61 068 056 682     •     DGR: 428809     •   CFN: 15707

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