Peace of Mind Foundation Testimonials

To whom it may concern,

My name is Katie Sheedy and I am a registered nurse, working at Bellarine Community Health in palliative care.  Our service provides centre focus care for people suffering from a terminal illness.

Recently we have had a young client with a cerebral tumour who we are experiencing huge difficulties accessing services for simply because they are under the age of 65.  We are also having major issues with NDIA, as they feel that we should be able to provide all the care required. This unfortunately is not the case.  

When discussing this issue with another nurse, from outside the area, the Peace of mind foundation was brought up. I immediately contacted Bec, who responded in record time.  She explained the aims of the foundation and I was amazed that I did not know about this. Bec is a passionate and amazing human being who understands the loop holes that a younger person faces with a terminal illness.  This services is imperative for not only the clients, but also the carers as it allows them more opportunity to keep their love ones at home for end of life care.  

Peace of Mind Foundation has allowed my client and their career to receive home based cleaning and gardening, counselling, social support through their support group and a financial grant to help cover medical expenses. Without this foundation, this client would have ended up in care right now, which is not what they wanted. This is a foundation that I feel needs a huge amount of financial funding put behind them so that they can extend the services they are able offer and strengthen their supportive care capabilities for our growing local brain tumour population.

I would recommend this wonderful charity organisation to any corporate or government agencies seeking the opportunity to fund a much needed cause and a make a real difference.

Yours sincerely,
Katie Sheedy (Registered Palliative Care Nurse)
Bellarine Community Health

Client Testimonials

Tara and Derrick Huxhagen, Grade 3 Glioma diagnosis since 2013:
3 years ago my husband was diagnosed with a grade 3 glioma and has undergone numerous surgeries and treatments since. We were lucky enough to be recommended to the Peace of Mind Foundation, where we have attended their monthly support group since its beginning in November 2014. We have been blessed to be able to meet with other patients and carers each month as well as receiving counselling and financial support to help us through times when we were unable to work due to the diagnosis. This has been an invaluable service to us, especially in helping connect us with others who are going through a similar experience. Making friendships out of this group has had such a positive and uplifting effect on both myself and Derrick. The support group is something we look forward to every month.

Sharon and Richard Holt, GBM diagnosis since 2015:
Peace of Mind Foundation has given myself and my family amazing support over the past 12 months to get us through a lot of challenges. They have supported us with funding and in home help, which exceeded our expectations of the service that was offered, but very needed throughout my radiotherapy/chemo times. We also meet other patients going through different stages through their support group, I think this is most important to help face the fears with support and praise. What we appreciate about the Peace of Mind Foundation, is that they deliver amazing support to families that are going through a very tough time; without them I don’t know how or where we would get this support. Sadly there is very little funding and support out there for people fighting brain cancer. I would recommend this great organisation to anyone fighting this horrible disease and hope that it soon receives the level of support and funding it deserves.

Bree Walker, Medullablastoma diagnosis since 2012:
Peace of Mind Foundation has been instrumental to my family and myself in terms of both personal & financial support. Brain Cancer is a terrible condition and to have a group of people to talk with, laugh and cry is pretty wonderful thing. Bec has done a wonderful thing putting this foundation together and I’m am forever grateful for that. I became a member of Peace of Mind when the brain tumour I had in 2012 returned as secondary medullablastoma tumours in 2014 and was introduced to the organisation and their support group. I know Bec and Clint would love to be able to have the charity be in a position to help more & more patients and their families, but with funding so extremely difficult to come by it poses a real threat to this organisation, which would be super disappointing. Bec and Peace of Mind has made my cancer journey easier in the sense of support in the absolute and I’ll be forever grateful.

Carol, Kevin and Kirby Littley, Diagnosed 2014:
I first found Peace of Mind when I was looking for help for my daughter, Kirby, who had a craniotomy for a brain tumour in 2014 and due to complications of strokes, acquired an ABI and needed complex care. They were supportive in listening to me, providing moral support and my husband and myself were invited and began attending the monthly support group meetings. Since coming home from rehab, Kirby now also attends these meetings and finds them fantastic and very beneficial. They have some great speakers and there is a sense of camaraderie amongst the group. We find the support of others facing similar situations helps us to cope with our new life as carers for a daughter with a disability. We have formed new friendships through this group. Peace of Mind arranged for Kirby and us to have some counselling through The Sanctuary Counselling Centre in Geelong. They funded these counselling sessions and it was helpful in allowing us all to have someone who would listen to us and offer various ways for us to learn to live with our new situation. Last Year Kirby and I attended a special retreat weekend for women with brain cancer (sufferers, carers, family members) that Peace of Mind Foundation hosted in Torquay. It was a day of pampering and although we couldn’t stay for the entire weekend due to previous commitments, we both went home feeling very ‘special!’ I really don’t think we would be coping as well as we are without the help of Peace of Mind Foundation.

Michelle Cummins, diagnosed 2010:
When I was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2010 after having a Grand mal seizure and finding out I was pregnant I asked a lot of questions which no one was able to answer and I felt very alone. I looked for support and for people going through a similar experience, a journey with brain cancer. I was told to go to Melbourne, how was I to get there, not being allowed to drive and with a new born. I felt like I had my independence ripped away from me? I searched the internet for information and support and eventually came across Peace of Mind Foundation a few years post diagnosis. Peace of Mind Foundation through the local Geelong support group has enabled me to meet amazing people going through similar battles although no one’s journey is the same we can all relate in some way. The women’s retreat organised in 2015 was amazing, I have made some great friends with whom I can share my fears, worries and concerns with and they really understand and if it wasn’t for the Foundation I would never had made these connections. I am currently well and my journey living with brain cancer continues, and although my future is uncertain I know that with the continuation of the support group I will always have someone to talk to who understands. I am fully aware that I most likely in the future will require some of the services Peace of Mind Foundation offers and I desperately hope that Peace of Mind starts to get the funding they deserve so that these services are available when and if I need them. I have seen first-hand how Peace of Mind Foundation has helped others through their journey and it provides me with “peace of mind” to know that they are there.

Daniel & Jenny:
When our son Lesane was diagnosed at 5 years of age with medulloblastoma, a type of brain cancer, we were shocked. Along with all the emotions you feel when something like this happens we also felt very alone. We didn’t know anything about brain cancer and we had no idea who to turn to for advice, information and help. Even the nurses treating him had never personally dealt with a brain cancer patient. Peace of Mind Foundation were a real bright spot in our sea of darkness. They helped us out financially, enabling us to pay out mortgage for a month. They helped us out practically, by putting us in contact with people and groups that we could turn to for support. And they also helped us out emotionally, showing us that we weren’t alone. They gave us understanding and hope during such a difficult time in our lives and for all that we will forever be grateful.

Professional Testimonials

Emma Daly – Neuro-oncology Clinical Nurse Consultant with Cabrini Health:
Living with brain tumours presents enormous challenges for people with the illness and the people who care for them. All aspects of people lives are affected. Unfortunately these people often go unnoticed as few services and supports are available to help support people to get on with living as best they can in these very challenging circumstances. Brain cancer often limits people’s capacity to work and earn income. Medical services are expensive. Access to community support programs are very limited for this group. Financial, social, emotional and practical supports offered by programs such as those offered by the Peace of Mind Foundation are of enormous value to this community and require increase community support to remain sustainable and grow to help support more Victorians living with such challenges.

While increased attention is given to expanding funding into research of brain cancers, very limited attention is given to the lack of tangible support available to people with brain cancer. Peace of Mind Foundation are unique in their approach to helping people at the ground roots of everyday life challenges.

Natalie Ashely – Neuro-Oncology Clinical Nurse Coordinator with Barwon Health:
As the only support group and organisation dedicated to brain tumour patients and their families within the Barwon Region, the Peace of Mind Foundation have offered support, both emotionally and financially, to the majority of patients and families under the care of the Neuro-Oncology Team at Barwon Health.

Sadly, the majority of patients with primary brain tumours we care for will succumb to their disease within a relatively short period of time after the initial diagnosis. The life of both the patient and family changes dramatically.

The provision of structured monthly support group meetings, as offered by Peace of Mind, provides patients and their loved ones with the opportunity to meet others experiencing the same journey. Many friendships outside the hospital environment are forged.

Financial hardship is frequently experienced by families, as the patient, and carer is required to stop work to attend and support cancer treatment. Access to financial grants offered by the Peace of Mind Foundation eases some of this financial stress for families. The ability to access additional support through domestic cleaning and gardening services, is another service that eases stressors for families living through the diagnosis of cancer.

The Barwon Health Neuro- Oncology Team are incredibly grateful for the support offered by the Peace of Mind Foundation to patients and families within our region.