It is no coincidence that the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer in Port Stephens generally rises after the BreastScreen NSW mobile van rolls into town.
For many of these women - of all ages and all walks of life - it is heartening to know that there is a voluntary organisation on the Tomaree peninsula ready to support them, both emotionally and physically.
Next month the Tomaree Breast Cancer Support Group will hold its major fundraiser - the 17th annual In the Pink Breakfast to take place on Wednesday, October 16, at Nelson Bay Bowling Club, starting at 7am. Guest speaker is Rebecca Chenery, a McGrath Foundation nurse from Newcastle's Mater Hospital.
Tickets at $30 per person will go on sale at the NBBC this Friday, or people can book on 4981 1272.
Now in her eighth year as president and 14th year on the committee, Taurie Lalor said that the not-for-profit organisation has been caring for women, and men, diagnosed with breast cancer since 2001.
Ms Lalor estimates the charity group has assisted more than 300 breast cancer patients, including 15 diagnoses since January this year.
"We provide free of charge driving patients to cancer related medical appointments in Newcastle/Maitland area, house cleaning, lawn mowing and child minding. We also can supply wigs, scarves and bouncing boobies, underarm cushions, plus telephone and face-to-face support."
Ms Lalor said that while the number of volunteers have fluctuated over the years, currently there is a shortage of members. "At its peak the group had up to 80 volunteers, we are at about half that number so any new members will be made most welcome."
Between now and the end of October 2019, BreastScreen NSW (Hunter New England) will be holding a 'Mammothon' challenge, which aims to screen as many women as possible who are aged 50-74 years who are due for screening or haven't had a mammogram in the last two years.
The BreastScreen NSW mobile unit will be visiting Port Stephens from October 20.
Book your appointment now by visiting bookings.breastscreen.org.au.