Dry July is just around the corner and for the seventh year in a row, Central Coast Local Health District’s (CCLHD) CoastCanCare wellness program will be the major beneficiary of the District’s Dry July fundraising campaign.
Dry July is a national fundraiser with a local focus that encourages participants to go alcohol free in July to raise funds for adults affected by cancer.
Funds raised through Dry July for CoastCanCare help to support local patients diagnosed with cancer, their families and carers, by connecting them and providing information, education and tools to develop skills for coping with a cancer diagnosis, treatments and side effects.
This year, to raise awareness about Dry July and the wellness program, CoastCanCare is running therapeutic art workshops where radiation oncology patients and their carers, friends and family will have the opportunity to create artworks out of their radiation oncology masks.
This will culminate in a unique exhibition, titled Masks Unveiled, to be displayed in Gosford Hospital’s main foyer from July 1 through to September.
Radiation oncology masks are made of mesh and moulded to the patient’s face and help to accurately target treatment areas and protect patients during radiotherapy for head and neck cancer.
CoastCanCare Program Coordinator, Tia Covi, said the masks symbolise something different for each patient.
“The art workshops and exhibition will aim to be a therapeutic and healing exercise, providing an outlet to express patients’ personal experiences,” she said.
Covi said art therapy was just one of the free wellness activities offered by CoastCanCare.
“Other sessions include tai chi, music therapy and exercise groups, which all have a strong focus on the importance of self-care, relaxation, mindfulness, support and connectedness during a difficult time in people’s lives.
“There are also sessions that offer practical advice such as the legal and financial services workshop which equips and empowers people with important information they need to know,” she said.
Covi said the popular CoastCanCare program would not be able to keep having such a positive impact without the support of the local community through the annual Dry July appeal.
“It is wonderful to see the benefits of CoastCanCare for locals living with cancer and we want to continue offering this valuable wellness and recovery program in the future.
“We are therefore extremely grateful for the Central Coast community’s involvement and generosity in taking on the Dry July challenge and getting behind this great cause,” she said.
Media release, Jun 17
Central Coast Local Health District Media