Support available for prostate cancer sufferers and survivors
Published at: 13 Sep 2019
It was 1995 when Jimmy Reid received treatment for prostate cancer.
The experience prompted the Shepparton man to kickstart a support group for those in the area who were diagnosed with and had survived prostate cancer.
With the help of local continence nurses, a public meeting was held to gauge interest and around 12 months later the group became affiliated with the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
Mr Reid has now been coordinating the group for 25 years and said it had been one of the more successful support groups in the state.
“Two of the original guys still attend,” he said.
“And there’s still a few who joined a couple of years later that are still in it.”
Mr Reid said they also encouraged wives and partners to attend the bi-monthly sessions which usually attract around 25–30 people.
The sessions include an array of different things from guest speakers to general chats over a cup of tea.
“We focus on getting the message across to the local male population to have themselves checked for prostate disease,” Mr Reid added.
Mr Reid said the group now met during the daytime at 10 am on the second Thursday of every second month.
Each session is held at 32 Packham St, Shepparton.
For more information visit the group's website here.
Sonia here to help
Those diagnosed with prostate cancer in the region have someone who can guide them through their journey.
GV Health Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse Sonia Strachan began her role in 2014 and has since seen around 100 new patients on average each year.
“I've seen over 500 new patients and have had over 5500 review contacts with those patients in that time,” she said.
Ms Strachan assists patients by providing a central point of contact for families, providing information, coordinating care and much more.
Ms Strachan's role is funded by the community through the Shepparton Biggest Ever Blokes Lunch and this year it was announced they had extended the funding for a further three years.
Ms Strachan encouraged people to get in touch if they needed support at the Peter Copulos Cancer and Wellness Centre at GV Health on (03) 5832 3777.