‘Our Story’ raises breast cancer awareness in Gladstone
22 October 2021
The Gladstone community has just been given a beautiful gift for Breast Cancer Awareness Month (October).
“Our Story 2021” takes the form of a stunning art and education installation at Gladstone Hospital’s Community Health building.
The display not only provides vital information on breast cancer but gives local people the opportunity to tell their stories and provide hope to others.
The pink tree sculpture has hanging leaves where anyone – breast cancer patient, family member or friend – can write about their personal experience.
Reading snippets from just a few leaves makes it clear – everyone has a different story to share and everyone’s journey after a breast cancer diagnosis is unique.
“There is always hope, stay strong, be positive and remember, get your boobs checked and if anything feels wrong, get it checked, it can save your life.” – Angela, diagnosed in February 2021.
“My message to you all, go and get tested, if not for yourself, do it for your loved ones.” – Therese, who lost beloved sister Sharon in 2020.
“My health is great even though I have cancer, and I am very positive and love my life.” – Tracey, diagnosed in 2012, aged 46.
“On 11 September this year I reached 7 years cancer free. My mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and is now also cancer free.” – Sherri, first person in her family diagnosed with cancer.
The messages are powerful, and will have a lasting impact on everyone who passes the tree, or goes online to read the stories (https://theartgallerygladstonehospital.com/breast-cancer-awareness-our-story-2021/)
The vision for “Our Story 2021” came from McGrath Breast Care Nurse Sally Haley and CQ Health staff and was brought to life by talented local artist Katrina Elliott.
“I am incredibly inspired by these courageous women who shared their stories,” Sally said.
“This project will not only raise awareness of breast cancer but will provide a sense of comraderie for everyone who has experienced breast cancer and everyone who is supporting someone on their breast cancer journey.”
Artist Katrina said she was honoured to help create “Our Story 2021”.
“So many ladies have told me they found it therapeutic to write and share their story,” Katrina said.
“How beautiful that by sharing their stories, they are also giving hope to others experiencing their own breast cancer journey.
“I would encourage others to share their own stories – the display and website link will remain long after Breast Cancer Awareness Month has passed.”
Details on how to participate are on the website: (https://theartgallerygladstonehospital.com/breast-cancer-awareness-our-story-2021/)
“Our Story 2021” was funded by a “pink month” fundraiser in 2019 (hosted by Gladstone Hospital’s Women and Newborn unit) and supported by the McGrath Foundation, Aestec Services, Katrina Elliott and CQ Health.
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia. It is estimated that 55 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia every day this year.
- The McGrath Foundation funds McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia.
- McGrath Breast Care Nurses help individuals and their families affected by breast cancer by providing invaluable physical, psychological and emotional support, from the time of diagnosis and throughout treatment.
- The support of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse is available for free and without a referral.
- To find your nearest McGrath Breast Care Nurse, head to the McGrath Foundation website www.McGrathFoundation.com.au
Tickled pink by the breast cancer awareness installation at Gladstone Hospital’s Community Health building are (back) Katrina Elliott, Emma Elliott, Sandy Munro, Sharon Graham, (front) Nadia Noto and Sally Haley.