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Help us expand the QCWI

Tuesday 09 June 2020

There are many reasons to participate in Dry July, but what better reason than to support a program designed to make the lives of cancer patients easier while supporting their physical and mental health.

By undertaking Dry July and raising funds for the PA Hospital (PAH) you'll be helping PA Research Foundation (PARF) to expand the Queensland Cancer Wellness Initiative (QCWI).

A multi-disciplinary group comprised of allied health, nursing, medical and consumer advisors, the QCWI has investigated cancer wellness programs across Australia with the vision to construct a model of care that best meets the needs of cancer patients who are accessing public cancer treatment services across Queensland.

Established in 2017 with support from the PA Research Foundation via a $200,000 research grant and assisted in 2019 by $46,000 raised by Dry July supporters, the QCWI is a range of activities designed to support the overall wellness of cancer patients at the PAH through offering them evidenced-based support and a time and place that suits their individual needs.

The QCWI currently offers people with cancer a range of activities to improve their physical and mental health including; physiotherapy led cancer exercise classes, kind hands massage program, Lymphoedema treatment, leisure activities such as gaming consoles and movies, pet therapy, nutrition, dietary support, programs to counteract cancer-related fatigue, social and emotional support and a Virtual Wellness Portal.

"The QCWI is a first for Queensland and provides patients with a range of programs they can choose to engage in to benefit their physical and mental health," PARF Chief Executive Officer Damian Topp said.

"Ultimately, we would love to be able to expand the QCWI to be available to more patients on more days and even include more activities run by telehealth so that it can be accessed by patients in regionals areas."

QCWI member Jodie Nixon said the QCWI's ultimate goal is to enhance wellness for people living with cancer, while undergoing treatment and in survivorship to improve the lives of cancer patients.

"The long-term vision of our work is to support an evidence-based wellness program that is beneficial and cost-effective, that can be offered through the public health system within a dedicated wellness centre," she said.

"We strive to improve the quality of life of people with cancer and their families, empower them to drive their health service needs, and encourage sharing and connection with other like-minded families and staff.

"The activities we offer are already showing to be beneficial to patients' mental and physical health, socialisation, and overall wellness.

Mr Topp urged people to go Dry this July or donate to someone who is fundraising for the QCWI.

"These types of programs don't receive government funding but are driven by health professionals whose primary aim is to help their patients; the more funds raised through Dry July the more people diagnosed with cancer that can be helped."

Register to raise funds for the Queensland Cancer Wellness Initiative or donate here.