Bosom Buddies was founded in 1995 by Shirley Fitzgerald (and a number of other friends all of whom had experienced breast cancer) to support a friend who had been newly diagnosed and about to start her breast cancer treatment.
Today Bosom Buddies ACT Inc is a charitable organisation of volunteers who provide personal support to breast cancer patients and their families and supporters in the ACT and surrounding region.
All our volunteers have experienced breast cancer personally or through loved ones.
The Bosom Buddies team of volunteers are committed to providing support to every person in our community who is going through the breast cancer treatment by:
- Providing support to those newly diagnosed with breast cancer and offering them a volunteer who is trained by the hospital to be their ‘buddy’ and assist them and their families though the challenges presented throughout the treatment.
- Providing support to Nicky’s Group – a support group established for those diagnosed with secondary breast cancer.
- Providing social activities and events for fun and for ongoing sharing and support for members and their guests. Fun and laughter are important helps during the journey.
- Staying in touch through a quarterly newsletter, regular emails.
Bosom Buddies also undertakes a wider role in the community and activities that provide benefits to those who are undergoing treatment:
- Producing post-surgery aids. The Specialist Breast Care Nurses provide to each surgery patient a Bosom Buddies Bag that contains information materials from the nurses , a pillow (made by Zonta), a fluffie duck or two (a soft prosthetic) and a bag to hold their drains made by Bosom Buddies volunteers. Groups of women meet regularly to produce these items handmade items. One of our Hospital Visiting and Support Team members packs the items into the bag.
- Raising awareness in the community. Bosom Buddies runs a Breast Awareness program designed to raise awareness about breast cancer, promote the ‘early detection’ message, educate people on the need to check often and explain how to detect anything unusual. We do this through presentations and through community events initiated by Bosom Buddies and/or BreastScreen ACT. Bosom Buddies also produces a unique water-proof shower tag that provides information on how to check and acts as a reminder.
- Advocating for improved services and treatment in our region and acting as a voice in the community on issues related to breast cancer. Members are also on various committees and reference groups to ensure breast cancer patients are well represented.
- Fundraising. Another major activity for Bosom Buddies volunteers is fundraising. Raising funds to keep Bosom Buddies going is a continuous challenge as we do not receive funding from governments or national cancer or breast cancer organisations.
- Providing funds for better services in the ACT (when possible). [find out more]