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.