Rotarians turn food and wine into funds

Rotarians turn food and wine into funds
The success of the Ballina Food and Wine Festival has meant patients at Lismore’s North Coast Cancer Institute – Cancer Care and Haematology Unit will now be blessed with warm cosy blankets.

Festival organisers, the Ballina-on-Richmond Rotary Club, have donated $4,000 towards the purchase of a blanket warmer for the unit, to help patients having radiation therapy stay warm during treatment sessions.

“The Lismore Cancer Care and Haematology Unit was one of the organisations to benefit from our festival this year, and we’re delighted we could make such a meaningful contribution,” Ballina-on-Richmond Rotary Club president, Donella Kinnish, said.
“The major beneficiary of this year’s Festival was community radio station, Paradise FM, but each year we also support a number of other charities and organisations.”

As an active Rotarian, NCCI Radiation therapist Andrea Laszczyk has been able to combine her passion for community service with her dedication to her work in helping fundraise for the blanket warmer. She knows first-hand the difference these blankets will make to the patients she treats.

“Patients receiving radiation therapy often need to have some part of their body exposed during the set-up and delivery of the treatment. A warm blanket can make all the difference during this time to keep people comfortable,” Andrea said.

Andrea will soon travel with Rotary to Kathmandu, Nepal, to build a house and provide building equipment, educational resources and hygiene supplies for residents affected by the 2015 earthquake.

More than 550 patients undergo radiation therapy at NCCI each year through the public outpatient service.

First opened in 2010, the unit has been providing treatment options for an increasing range of cancers using complex treatment techniques and reducing the need for patients to travel to Queensland for radiation therapy.


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