Wetherill Park’s Phillip Ready knows first-hand the good work of CanCare, an innovative program of the Prostate & Breast Cancer Foundation.
Originating from Zimbabwe, Phillip, 70, spent 23 years working in Australia and was ready to enjoy his retirement when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012.
At the time he was living alone, with no family or support network, and struggling to navigate the Australian health care system.
Unfortunately, four years on from his initial diagnosis, Phillip discovered his cancer had returned and he required extensive surgery which left him with a colostomy and a urostomy.
It left the very independent Phillip with a physical and emotional challenge to overcome.
Enter CanCare where he was linked to one of the volunteers Ross.
CanCare help provide practical non-medical support to cancer patients who find themselves alone or without any support.
“When I first met Ross, I realised I could trust him and that there are some good people around who could help me,” Phillip said.
“I’ve never looked back since.”
Ross assisted Phillip get back some of his independence and helped him with fixing his car and provided necessary medical supplies at home from CanCare funding.
He also ensured medical forms were correctly completed and set up at-home medical assistance from community nurses and the Home Doctor Service.
Then, after six months, Phillip helped Ross reunite with his estranged family whom he had not been in contact with for almost 15 years. This began the process of building a much-needed support network for Phillip and after a successful reunion with his sister he was also reconnected with his son, who he had not seen since he was four-years-old.
On reuniting with his son he was delighted to discover he was a grandfather.
“The most important thing for me was knowing that there is always someone there for me,” Phillip said.
- The Prostate & Breast Cancer Foundation is calling on the community to join its team for this year’s Blackmore’s Sydney Running Festival on September 16 to help raise funds for the CanCare program. Register/donate: pbcf.org.au/sydneyrun.