Sweet Louise currently has 444 members, and since their launch in 2006, they have supported more than 1400 men and women with metastatic breast cancer. One of the key areas of focus this year has been family support.
Following a survey earlier this year, the Auckland bi-monthly Men's Group now have a speaker at each meeting, and this is appealing to more men supporting their family members with life threatening illness.
The success of the Men's Group has highlighted to Sweet Louise how important it is to care for the whole family. So with some additional funding, this year Sweet Louise has also been able to offer their members with children or dependent grandchildren, the opportunity to choose an activity or event they and their children will enjoy to help create special memories.
In Auckland some have chosen Snow Planet or Rainbows End, while others have enjoyed treating the family to High Tea at a hotel. One member took her children to the nursery (beginners) ski slopes. These are all very special in their own way, with lots of photographs taken, which means wonderful memories for the children. One member commented "it took her mind off my treatments, and gave me normal family time with my children".
Sweet Louise continues to promote the Facebook group Metavivors NZ as a very valuable strand of supportive care. It is wonderful for their members to have access to an online community where they can share stores, views and of course valuable research too. Thank you to BCAC for driving this initiative.