Parkes pushes through drought to help fund more McGrath Breast Care Nurses

SUPPORT: Dianne Green has been the McGrath Breast Care Nurse for patients and their families in Parkes, Forbes, Condobolin, Trundle, Tullamore, Tottenham and Peak Hill since 2011.

SUPPORT: Dianne Green has been the McGrath Breast Care Nurse for patients and their families in Parkes, Forbes, Condobolin, Trundle, Tullamore, Tottenham and Peak Hill since 2011.

As Parkes and the Central West experiences its worst drought in living memory, McGrath Breast Care Nurse from Parkes Dianne Green couldn't be more grateful her town is choosing to "pink up" for the McGrath Foundation.

It's tough times for many in small communities, but businesses, clubs and community groups are stepping forward to take part in the Pink Up Your Town initiative to raise whatever funds they can for more McGrath Breast Care Nurses.

Growing up on a farm in Parkes, Dianne has been the McGrath Breast Care Nurse for patients and their families in Parkes, Forbes, Condobolin, Trundle, Tullamore, Tottenham and Peak Hill since 2011.

She said many people don't realise the services of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse are available entirely for free and without a referral.

"It's as simple as checking the McGrath Foundation website for our contact details," Dianne said.

"The funds raised through Pink Up Your Town are used to place McGrath Breast Care Nurses like me in communities across Australia."

There are 135 McGrath Breast Care Nurses across Australia but there is an ongoing demand for the services of nurses.

Dianne said the foundation still needs over 120 more McGrath Breast Care Nurses to reach every family experiencing breast cancer.

"Breast cancer care comes in so many forms," she said.

"It's important that support is provided not just for the person who has received the diagnosis but also their wider family.

"There is increased awareness about mental health and the emotional challenges for patients and their loved ones.

"Furthermore increases in the early detection of the cancer, improved treatment options and longer life expectancy means people are living longer with breast cancer. This is where the support of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse comes in."

Over the years, Dianne has learnt how important it is to be a good communicator.

Along with providing emotional support, a McGrath Breast Care Nurses can attend appointments.

"We can decode medical jargon to ensure patients are empowered to make critical decisions about their treatment," Dianne said.

"We can also put people in touch with other relevant local services to ensure people have access to the support services they need."

Parkes is participating in the Pink Up Your Town fundraiser for the McGrath Foundation throughout October. Head to the Pink Up Parkes social media pages for more information and to find out what "pink" events are taking place and when.

Peak Hill in the Parkes Shire is also taking part in the fundraising, renaming themselves "Pink Hill" for the month. Read more here: Peak Hill to turn into "Pink Hill" during October.