Raising awareness and funds to support women in the West

    Over the last eight years I have watched my mother, Sina, battle with breast cancer twice and win. Her strength and courage throughout these terrifying life-threatening experiences is nothing short of inspirational.

    Sina knows firsthand what it’s like to have to pick yourself up and carry on. Now she is helping other breast cancer patients find the courage to do the same by running a yearly fundraiser which supports Western Health’s Breastwest.

    Breastwest helps breast cancer patients who live in the Western region by providing financial assistance with a focus on patient care though funding for equipment. The organisation was founded in 2006 and there are three streams to which funds raised are directed to: equipment,
    special purpose and patient care.

    In 2005, after Sina’s first diagnosis (which lead to her having a mastectomy and breast reconstruction), my mother, my sister Vanessa, and myself held a “Girls Night In” through the Cancer Council. We raised a small amount though the gathering of family and friends within our home and we repeated this a year later with similar results.

    However, Sina was determined to aim higher – she wanted a big scale event. So in 2012, with the help of her friends, she organised her first Breast West fundraiser with all proceeds going toward the organisation which was supporting her though her battle. Sina and her committee spoke to the local community and came back with a wide range of donated items which were auctioned off on the night. The event was a total success with more than 400 women attending.

    The fundraiser was repeated the following year just as Sina was going though the trauma of having another cancer lump removed from her breast, not too far from where the first was found. The radiation treatments left her tired and sore but she managed to throw together another event not long after leaving hospital.

    The amount raised in 2013 was $18,700, which was used to purchase a portable ultrasound machine for Western Health. The night was just as successful as the first.It has now been just over a year since Sina won her second battle with breast cancer; she continues her medication and despite some side effects she is growing stronger and continues regular checkups at the hospital.

    This year’s event, called “Sina’s Soiree”, was again held at Melrose Reception and supported by Breast West along with local businesses who donated a number of fantastic prizes. The ticket cost covers a three course meal, wine, beer and soft drinks, and a DJ to keep the party going till midnight. Money is raised though donations, ticket sales, silent auctions, live auctions and raffles.

    Breastwest is pleased to announce that this year’s total is a fantastic $15,413.

    The next fundraiser is booked for Friday 9th of October 2015, at Melrose Reception Ballroom. For information please call Sina directly on 9307 9432 or 0432 594 009.

    By Sarah Jayne Portelli

    Our content is a labour of love, crafted by dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the west. We encourage submissions from our community, particularly stories about your own experiences, family history, local issues, your suburb, community events, local history, human interest stories, food, the arts, and environmental matters. Below are articles created by community contributors. You can find their names in the bylines.

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