View this email in your browser

Supporting people living with cancer since 1993
Patrons: Gabi Hollows AO & Prof. Michael Friedlander AM
March 2023 Newsletter
Once again, a warm greeting to all our Life Force friends, patients, survivors, carers and all those working with and supporting people living with cancer in the community.
We are now well into 2023 and forging ahead with a strong resolve to continue advancing our valuable supportive care programs here in Sydney and across regional NSW.

Thirty years ago this year, I set up the very first support group for cancer patients in Sydney’s east, following my own treatment for cancer the year before. I realized there was a great need to address the emotional, psychological and spiritual impact of cancer on people’s lives. I acted to fill what I saw as a significant gap in cancer care.
That was the beginning of the Life Force Cancer Foundation.
From there the organisation evolved into an integrated supportive care system to meet the psychosocial needs of all people living with cancer, with weekly support groups in different suburbs, retreats and workshops in country areas, individual counselling and telephone counselling.
At Life Force we have always taken action wherever we have perceived a need, and so we continue in our commitment to ‘Close the Gap” in cancer care wherever we can, taking our workshops and retreats right across regional NSW where there is limited access to this type of valuable supportive care.

Thirty years on, we continue to evolve, offering new programs to support people through their cancer experience and beyond.
Our latest initiative is called “Embracing Life” – mind/body workshops to assist people on a cancer treatment and recovery journey. A kind of cancer rehab program.
We’ve brought together a group of amazing therapists to conduct this new series. It’s an 8 week program to be run by experienced and talented therapists using sound, meditation, art and movement to help patients and their carers on a healing journey for optimal health and wellbeing.

We are thrilled to be launching this program on April 3rd and invite you all to join us for a free information evening and taste of what's to come with a beautiful sound bath therapy session as well as nibbles and drinks and a lovely evening together


I recently attended as a guest speaker, a beautiful lunch in Tamworth hosted by Joblink Plus to celebrate International Women’s Day.
What a beautiful experience it was! There was so much loving energy in the room and I was thrilled to join some amazing women fellow panellists who are doing fantastic work in their communities, like-minded souls acting to benefit society.
We would like to thank this fantastic organisation Joblink Plus, for their generous sponsorship of our NSW Regional Supportive Care Project enabling us to continue to offer these life-affirming programs free of charge to patients in country NSW who need our help. Huge thanks from all of us at Life Force and from the people living with cancer whom we support. We love you Joblink Plus!

Women hold together the fabric of society

That’s what we do as women, we hold together the fabric of society.
Women are the spinners and weavers. We create the fabric, and when that fabric gets worn or gets holes in it we mend it and patch it so it continues to hold together.
If bits get too worn out we create new ones to fill the gap. That’s what we do naturally, intuitively. We hold the space.
We also have a natural inclination to act when we perceive a need, when we see injustice, inequity, or something that needs righting.
Women historically have taken action to bring about needed change, to fill the gaps in our social systems wherever we see them.
That’s what we do at Life Force Cancer Foundation. It’s what we have done from the beginning, and what we continue to do to address the inequity of access to health care services, especially post cancer treatment in rural regional and remote areas of NSW in line with the World Cancer Day theme – “Close the Care Gap”.
But, as women, the nurturers, the carers, we often tend to neglect our own wellbeing.  So, it’s important that we take care of ourselves too. Care of the self is not the same as selfishness. In fact, it’s the opposite. If we don’t care for ourselves first, we can’t be fully able to care for others. I’m reminded of the example of aircraft safety drill where we’re told to put on our own safety gear first before attending to children or others.
What happens when cancer comes:
When cancer comes on the scene, it can often seem to us that we have failed in some way and indeed there is still stigma around it.
People often need to find a reason for why someone gets cancer and sometimes this takes the form of judgment and blame.
This is not helpful. It only compounds the distress and anguish for the person diagnosed with cancer.
As patients we can be beset by fear and doubt, so it is extremely harmful to be told we are responsible for our cancer when we are at our lowest ebb.
It can be a hugely challenging experience. We can feel very isolated and alone with it all, even when we have caring people around us.
For people living in regional rural and remote areas of NSW, that can be compounded by there being little or no access to supportive care services increasing that sense of isolation.
This is where we at Life Force have taken action to fill that gap in cancer care with our regional supportive care project, where people find understanding, love, care and inspiration to re-engage with life and get in touch with their own inner resources and strengths. Our next retreats will be held in Dubbo and Tamworth.

Life Force holistic recovery model helps us find our way back to our true selves. A path to emotional and social wellbeing and empowerment.
Examining the emotional impact of the cancer experience on our lives can be a way of finding out about ourselves, gaining insights into our true selves.
Questioning who we are and what we’re here for.
In this way we can find true meaning and purpose in life, and rekindle the life force within.
For each of us it’s different. But when we find what we really love in life and follow that path that’s when we become truly alive and then we can shine!!
The Cancer experience can rob us of our confidence and we can lose our way.
It’s a grief and loss situation. We can feel literally at a loss, unable to move forward.
Coming together in a safe and non-judgmental environment with others who understand can be hugely supportive in helping us gain confidence and courage again. Having an opportunity to release the emotional and physical pain is so important. Group work is a powerful tool for healing the emotional wounds that are an inevitable part of the experience.
Healing takes place on many levels - physical psychological emotional and spiritual and we can all be such precious gifts to each other, giving and receiving.
This is where our work at Life Force can be truly transformative. Life Force is a beacon of life and hope for people at their darkest hour, a safe place where they can find acknowledgement, understanding and encouragement and experience comfort, love, faith and inspiration to navigate the dark journey and find new meaning and joy in life.
Joining one of our Life Force Healing Circles connects you with others treading a similar path. When people come together in this way and share their stories, there is a healing energy or force in that space, as they feel the strength of a common bond and find support and encouragement.
The guided imagery meditation that concludes each meeting is a beautiful way to calm the mind, soothe the body and lift the spirits.
To join call Jane: 0412 643 751

Reading the post from Cancer Council NSW 7 Mar 2023, entitled "Why cancer survivors need more support to live well after treatment", highlights and emphasises the importance of the work Life Force does in the community and has been doing continuously for 30 years with NO government funding and running on a shoestring. 
Our small charity is out there at the coalface at a grassroots level providing exactly the kind of support that is needed and addressing exactly the issues mentioned. Life Force provides a lifeline for all people living with cancer all genders and all cancer types as well as families and carers who struggle with the huge challenges of cancer, particularly in the aftermath of treatment.

Our dedicated charity provides these services and has done for thousands of people over a thirty year period and amazingly offers our programs free of charge to participants in regional rural and remote areas of NSW.
This is why we urgently need corporate sponsorship and private donations more than ever to ensure we can continue to do our vitally important work in our most vulnerable communities.

We thank you all for your continued support of our work.  You've kept us going for thirty years!  And with ongoing support from our "Friends for Life" we will be able to provide our programs for another thirty years.


Wishing our readers love and blessings
from all of us at Life Force,



Newsletter Production Lucy Carroll, Life Force Angel

Copyright © 2023 Life Force Cancer Foundation, All rights reserved.

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

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp