“I’m the mother of two beautiful sons, grandmother to five grand-children, and a great-grandmother to one beautiful great-granddaughter,” explains Margaret Parkes, sitting comfortably in the loungeroom of her Belmont home. But this idyllic life was threatened in June last year when a breast test returned positive results.
“My whole world just fell apart and I didn’t know where to go or what to do,” Margaret adds. “Luckily, one of my daughters-in-law knew Ellie Wells, the General Manager of Hunter Breast Cancer Foundation. Ellie got in touch with me, reassured me, and then walked me through everything they could offer. It was a weight off my mind.”
Margaret’s husband of 54 years, Wayne, was due to have a heart operation at the same time. This meant he couldn’t drive or even work in his yard, so HBCF’s offer of a hire car and a lawn mowing service were doubly appreciated.
“Being a male, you don’t fully understand what breast cancer is all about. When it hits home, it’s a very difficult situation,” he says. “It’s hard to describe what the support means. To go outside and see mown lawns, and to know Margaret was in good hands with the driving, also helped me 100 per cent.”
Margaret was most appreciative of the transport support – not only the ability to get to her appointments, but the companionship offered by the HBCF including the drivers.
A package of personal care items was also delivered.
Since receiving the services, Margaret has become a HBCF donor and is keen to become a volunteer in the future. “They care, they understand, they’re very compassionate and they provide reassurance. There’s lots of women like me in Newcastle, Lake Macquarie and the Hunter Region who really need this assistance,” she says.