Weebolla Bulls Ladies Day donation to Moree Hospital Oncology Unit continues to make a difference as 2019 event draws closer

McGrath Breast Care nurse Wendy Allen, Moree Ladies Day committee members Nicole Youngberry and Laura Colley (right) with Tracie Miller (second from right) who shows how the laser works on her arm.
McGrath Breast Care nurse Wendy Allen, Moree Ladies Day committee members Nicole Youngberry and Laura Colley (right) with Tracie Miller (second from right) who shows how the laser works on her arm.

As the 2019 Weebolla Bulls Ladies Day draws closer, the Moree community continues to benefit from funds raised at last year's record-breaking event.

The Ladies Day committee recently made another valuable purchase for Moree Hospital's Oncology Unit, from the $30,000 raised at the 2018 Ladies Day event.

The committee recently purchased six super pulsed low-level lasers, adding to the six they'd previously purchased, for Moree Hospital's McGrath Breast Care Nurse Wendy Allen to use for the treatment of patients with lymphedema.

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Lymphedema, the swelling of arms or legs, is most commonly caused by the removal of or damage to lymph nodes as a part of cancer treatment. It results from a blockage in the lymphatic system, which prevents lymph fluid from draining well, and the fluid build-up leads to swelling.

"It can happen straight away or 20 years down the track [after having cancer]. Not everybody gets it," Ms Allen said.

"Sometimes the tissue can become hard, so the laser breaks it up and allows it to keep moving. It is used as part of the treatment for lymphedema, along with massage, a compression pump, bandages and taping."

Ms Allen said the lasers, which cost close to $3,000 for six, are cold so they don't hurt and are simple to use.

For Tracie Miller, who has suffered from lymphedema for the past 20 years after undergoing treatment for breast cancer, the use of the laser "makes a huge difference" in reducing pain and swelling in her left arm.

"It's amazing," she said.

"It helps get rid of fluid out of my arm. I use it every night. Some days if I have a lot of pain I might use it three or four times a day. Other days if I'm feeling okay, I'll just use it once.

"I've only got to get a scratch, cut or mosquito bite and it flares up from cellulitis and I have to go to hospital and be put on a drip. These machines are really good. It helps, and makes a difference.

"I've only had four hospital visits this year. Four's not too bad. I had eight or nine the year before."

Ms Allen said every time someone gets cellulitis, the tissue is damaged, so after every episode, Tracie's arm gets "bigger and bigger."

"When I'm in an episode it gets so big," Tracie said.

Ms Allen said there is a significant need for lasers, and without the donation from the Ladies Day committee, the hospital would only have been able to purchase one or two, not 12.

Following this latest purchase, the Ladies Day committee still has more than $6,000 in funds for the Oncology Unit, having already used funds to purchase a portable oxygen concentrator and put together care packages for cancer patients, as well as donated $10,000 to Moree Can Assist.

This year's Ladies Day is shaping up to be even bigger than last year's, after a record number of tickets (400) sold out in a record six days.

The committee has this year decided to support the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service through funds raised at Ladies Day, set for Saturday, July 27, as well as the Bulls Black Tie Ball, held last Friday, June 7.

"Each year we try to pick a new charity to spread it around, but we still wanted it to remain local," Ladies Day committee member Nicole Youngberry said.

"Keeping with the medical and emergency theme, which everyone seemed to really get on board with last year, we chose the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, as every member of our community will either need it or know someone who has benefitted.

"We contacted Westpac and asked for a way to keep it local, which they said they can do through the Tamworth service."

Those who were lucky enough to secure a ticket to Ladies Day will enjoy a great day out at the rugby in the exclusive ladies day marquee where there will be delicious food, complimentary drinks, and entertainment by Jac Drenkhahn throughout the afternoon and Avenue for Troy into the night. There are also some fantastic prizes up for grabs in the raffle and for best dressed.

All who attend the day will also have the opportunity to bid on one of the special ladies day jerseys worn by the players, during the jersey auction following the first grade match.

"The support we've had has been wonderful," Ms Youngberry said.

"We're really surprised and grateful for the sponsorship we've received given the circumstances."

If you missed out on purchasing a ticket, you can register your interest on the waiting list via trybooking at www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=496581