lift your spirits, renew your confidence

photograph by Karen Borger

Supporting people living with cancer since 1993


The Life Force Mission

“Life Force Foundation supports people dealing with the whole experience of cancer, encouraging expression of all feelings in a safe and caring environment”

Our Patrons

Professor Michael Friedlander AM
Gabi Hollows AO

Support Groups

Support Groups

Joining a support group where everyone can share everything they feel with people going through a similar experience can be helpful for you to process everything.

The Stories

The Stories

We've collected stories from a selection of people we've worked with over the past 26+ years and hope that you'll find the same inspiration in them all that we did

How You Can Help

How You Can Help

Your donations, time, ideas and assistance with our fund raising activities and support groups are always welcome. Please get in touch if you feel you have something to offer

The Life Force Story

Life Force Foundation has been supporting people living with cancer since 1993, when Jilly Pascoe and Caro Jonas began running the very first support group in Sydney's eastern suburbs, and from there it evolved into an integrated supportive care system for all those affected by cancer, with a holistic approach that embraces the whole human being.

Following her own experience of cancer, Jilly Pascoe saw a need for a more balanced approach to cancer care and implemented programs to address the emotional and psychological needs of patients and their families and carers in a non-clinical community setting.

Over the years, Life Force has developed strong professional links and associations with many health professionals and other community organisations involved in the delivery of cancer care and continues to form collaborative partnerships with other stakeholders in the cancer care community.  


Life Force Philosophy

  • Recognition of each individual as a complete human being, physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. 
  • Understanding that healing takes place on many levels.
  • Acknowledgement of the experience of cancer as trauma, and the need for appropriate and supportive care. 
  • The belief in a balanced approach to health care, and the right of the individual to have access to psycho-social support.
  • Recognition of the value of group work as a powerful tool for healing. 


Life Force Objectives

  • To provide emotional and social support for people dealing with the whole experience of cancer, encouraging the expression of feelings in a safe and caring environment.
  • To develop personal skills and strategies for coping with the associated stress and anxiety of the condition and treatment, restoring confidence and enhancing the quality of life. 
  • To assist patients to gain maximum benefit from their treatment regimens, by promoting communication and co-operation between patients and health care providers.


What We Do

Support groups – a safe caring space for men and women with all cancer types 

Carers’ group – a space to share and also be supported 

Programs and workshops to address specific issues  

Outreach initiatives including regional NSW 

Collaboration with hospital treatment teams and others involved in cancer care 


A note from the President

Hello, if you’re reading this page we at Life Force may already have a relationship with you, or you are here to seek help for yourself, a friend or relative. You are welcome, and as the organisation we will endeavour to do what we can to support you, so give us time, and always feel that you can let us know how we might best help you. We hope to offer you and your carers support of a group, information and refuge such as retreats.

As president of Life Force Foundation, I’m a custodian of this space, organisation and working with a team of engaged and sympathetic others to be of service while you might be in need. While I introduce myself can I take time to say I’m sorry, I’m sorry for whatever reason you have come to this website if it's your own diagnosis or that of a friend or a loved one. I know first hand the fear, pain and dread that cancer brings, I’m a cancer survivor and also sat with my sister as she left two young children behind, my other sister also suffered cancer, and I’ve lost a very dear friend who also left a family behind. All different cancers, all different treatments, all different chemotherapies, operations and radiotherapy.
My nightmare started when my right arm pathologically broke one day as I shut the front door, as a professional, full time working single mother of a seven-year-old, my life changed in a second! One day I was corporate “Barbie” working on a multi-million dollar project in the city, and the next I was in a hospital bed in St Vincent’s hospital begging anyone who would listen for my life including God! It’s like that!
I did survive, but not without an unimaginable ride, chemotherapy that left me as a shell of my former self, radiotherapy that left me with third-degree burns that were re-burnt and treated over and over again, and three operations that left behind a disability, and a deformed body-part. And as one goes through this journey some friends stay, some don’t, some just can’t, and the loss can bring its own heartache. Then from your own nightmare, you watch everyone around you who does stay in pain because of your fate.
The physical journey for me was something I would never have imagined I could survive, but the enormous ongoing challenge was the emotional one, and I needed support. I saw a psychologist at the hospital and they were all fantastic, and it was through the psychologist that I learnt about Life Force support groups. It was a place to go where I could say out loud what I couldn’t say elsewhere and name my fears. The group was a warm blanket I could go to and not cope if I couldn't, a source of strength and resources to go back to face what I had to face the next week, day or month, the group is still there, when other related challenges have come up. Did I mention three limb-saving surgeries’!
I’m here today holding this space with others to enable in particular our facilitators, counsellors and therapists to give you the support and peace you may need in your own cancer angst, or similarly the support to help you support a loved one.
Nina Witenden
Life Force Cancer Foundation Supporting people dealing with cancer since 1993

Thank you, we can't do this without you

Over the years we have had grants from Woollahra and Waverley Councils, Inner West Council, plus donations and much in-kind support from Callagher Estate Agents, Avis Australia, Sydney Theatre Company, NSW Cancer Council, Anne Schofield Antiques, Coates Bennett Accountants Mudgee, Chapman Films/Matchbox Films, John Balazs of Balazs Lazanas & Welch LLP, (plus of course many, many generous individuals).  

Life Force Foundation would like to thank sincerely the following contributors;

Sharon Flanagan for the contribution to our website

George Skoufis Optometrists for the contribution to our website

Citilease Pty Ltd

Reads of Woollahra Women’s Wear

St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church for providing rooms free of charge at Edgecliff for meetings 

Inner West Council for providing rooms at Annandale for a reduced rate

Yukiko Shimizu, who donates Carna Aromatics. For every online purchase, Life Force receives an Aromatic Hug to pass on to our patients and carers.

Hastings Cancer Trust for the sponsorship of the Life Force Regional Residential retreat 2018

Wests Ashfield Leagues Club

Woollahra Council


Life Force Cancer Foundation Supporting people dealing with cancer since 1993

Disclaimer

The information on this website is provided for general information only. It is not intended as medical advice, and should not be relied upon, as a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who can determine your individual medical needs. 
We hope this information will answer some of your questions and help you in thinking about further questions that you might want to ask your doctors.