WHOW (Women Helping Other Women) sprang from my own experience of breast cancer. Being breast aware meant that I discovered my cancer early and am in the 90% of those diagnosed in Australia who will survive breast cancer beyond 5 years.
While in Bali in 2009 however, I became aware of the lack of options available for women who faced a diagnosis of breast cancer. I saw an opportunity for Australian women in more fortunate positions, to help their counterparts in Bali.
Since 2011, WHOW has handed over $50,000 to Bali Pink Ribbon (BPR) – an organization made up of a group of volunteers dedicated to improving breast cancer services in Bali. This money enabled BPR to open a support centre in Kuta for women struggling with breast cancer. Some of the funds have also been set aside as they continue to expand their education programs throughout Bali.
WHOW is very proud of their involvement in Indonesia’s first Breast Cancer Support Centre in Bali over the last four years. Inspired by the success of this centre, WHOW wants to take its work to other areas of Indonesia and Timor Leste through the following:
1. Development and promotion of educational and outreach programs which will inform, support and empower women about breast cancer.
2. Provision of grants to individuals and groups who provide Breast Cancer support to women in Indonesia and Timor Leste.
3. Establishment of working relationships with medical professionals from Australia, Indonesia and WHOW.
4. Establishment of a WHOW branch in Indonesia which will include both expatriate and local residents.
2014's Fundraiser Concert
Above image description:
Models Super Orchestra
hosted by Brian Nankervis
Collingwood Town Hall, March 26th 8pm
This year the WHOW annual fundraiser will again be held at the awesome Caravan Club. The Caravan Club, based at the Oakleigh RSL is a great old style hall with great sound and a fantastic atmosphere and has become the live music venue in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne. We are very grateful for their support! Buy tickets here.
Breast Cancer in Indonesia: the Challenges
Recent statistics on the mortality rates of breast cancer in Australia show that the risk of dying of breast cancer before the age of 85 has decreased from 1 in 29 in 1982 to 1 in 37 in 2007 even though the incidence of breast cancer has been increasing.
In terms of surviving a diagnosis of breast cancer, these figures have also improved. Seven out of 10 women who received a diagnosis of breast cancer in 1982 were still alive 5 years later, while nearly 20 years later nearly 9 out of 10 women diagnosed in 2000 were still alive in 2006.
These improved figures are due to several factors including:
- Early detection through screening programs and through breast awareness education
- Availability of prompt and integrated treatment
- Better treatment.
In Australia, this is available without cost to the individual through the public health system.
In Indonesia, the situation is very different.
As the life expectancy of Indonesian women improves, the concern is shifting from communicable to degenerative diseases such as cancer. Unfortunately, there is no cancer registry anywhere in Indonesia and so it impossible to determine the exact number of women with breast cancer. Professor Tjakra Manuaba, Professor of Oncology at Udayana University, Bali, found some startling evidence in his 2011 study regarding the high rates of breast cancer found in women under the age of 45 years. Unfortunately, there are no figures available for other parts of Indonesia.
Other challenges faced by women in Indonesia:
- The increased use of alternative medicines has meant women in Indonesia are diagnosed at later stages of the disease making survival unlikely. Professor Tjakra Manuaba’s study (Bali, 2011) concluded that the majority of his patients were found to try from 2 to 8 types of alternative medicines before they would seek medical assistance, usually at either Stage III of IV, with little chance of survival.
- The social, cultural, religious factors and fears in Indonesian communities are responsible for widespread misconceptions and the reluctance of women to discuss breast cancer.
- Although Indonesia has placed high priority on health promotion and prevention of cancer over the last two decades, the translation of these priorities into policies has been fragmented and ineffective in provincial districts throughout Indonesia. Available budgets simply don’t meet the health needs of the population.
- Acute lack of diagnostic equipment, mass screening programs and oncology doctors and nurses are prevalent throughout Indonesia.
- The geographical distribution of health related professionals since 1992, when the Indonesian government established a ‘zero growth policy’ for civil servants, has restricted the availability of health personnel to remote areas in Indonesia.
- Due to the high costs of testing and treatment for breast cancer in Indonesia, many families are unable to access facilities.
The WHO guidelines to the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer are:
- Primary prevention, through public and professional education.
- Secondary prevention, through mass and individual screening programs.
- Tertiary prevention, through accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment
- Palliation therapy and treatment of incurable cancer and pain management.
- Establish working relationships with medical professionals from within Indonesia and overseas.
All WHOW events are registered fundraisers thus ensuring that all monies raised are accounted for and reach their destination.
Events — Past
Saturday March 24th, 2012
Models Super Orchestra and guests
Another great night hosted by Brian Nankervis and featuring the Models Super Orchestra! The night was a huge success with almost $17000 being raised for improving breast cancer services in Bali!
The Models SuperOrchestra include recent ARIA Hall of Fame Inductees, Sean Kelly, Andrew Duffield and Mark Ferrie from the Models. Also in the band are the fabulous Billy Miller (The Ferrets), Jack Howard (Hunters and Collectors), Cal McAlpine (Large No 12s) and Eve von Bibra (The Chantoozies).
The night was again hosted by Brian Nankervis whose energy and humour abounds as always!
An enormous thank you to all the sponsors, the band, Brian, the Richmond Primary School parents and everyone who attended…..
A very special thank you to the following artists who donated beautiful works of art for auctioning:
Peter Byron, Penelope Metcalf, Mark Schaller, Vietta Korren-Steele, Vivian Ashworth, Sarah Faulkner, Greg Ades, Mark Douglass, Karan Hayman, Mark Howson and Mirka Mora.
A Mother Weeps
A special moment on the night was when Rosamond Pollard sang the song A Mother Weeps.....
Gabby Larkin died aged 16 from an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer.
Her mother, Patrice, wrote a song as a tribute to her teenage daughter.
The song, “A Mother Weeps”, has been recorded and released as a CD single.
Some of Australia’s most experienced musicians donated their time and talent to make the recording.
Rebecca Barnard on lead vocals is supported by Cal McAlpine (Drums), Mark Ferrie (Bass), Billy Miller (Lead Guitar/Harmony), Sean Kelly (Rhythm Guitar/Harmony), Andrew Duffield (Piano/Harmony) and Jack Howard (Trumpet/Harmony).
Needless to say there were some tears shed around the room.
A very special thanks to Phil and Patrice Larkin for their donation to WHOW of over $1600 from proceeds of the sale of the CD, A Mother Weeps.
Updates & Future events
The last year have seen WHOW receiving support from all sorts of people and organisations:
In May 2012, I attended the Bali Pink Ribbon walk in Nusa Dua in Bali. It was a fabulous day walking with about 500 others through the beautiful gardens and beaches of Nusa Dua.
The day was a great success and gave me a chance to meet all the women who work so hard in Bali trying to improve conditions for women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. It was also an opportunity to hand over $30000 from WHOW.
Recently, Gaye Warren, President of BPR wrote to me:
Bali Pink Ribbon is most grateful for your generous donation of A$ 30,000 last year, which made up just under 50% of our total fundraising figure for 2012. Without the wonderful contribution from WHOW, our major sponsor, we would not have been in a position to establish our Breast Cancer Support Centre, the first of its kind in Indonesia.
The Centre, to be called Pink Ribbon House, will be open to the public in a matter of weeks, once the interior furnishings are completed. BPR will then be in a position to hold free seminars at Pink Ribbon House on women's health and breast checks by doctors of Bali Care Cancer Foundation, together with counselling patients and their families and survivors by trained volunteers, many themselves breast cancer survivors, and therapeutic classes run by volunteers offering yoga, arts and crafts and cookery classes and a wellness and beauty programme. We shall also offer the use of a library and social activities such as visits to places of interest for a day out programme for members.
BPR will be working closely with their medical advisors, Dr Dian Endrawati and Professor Tjakra Manuaba, whom you met at the Pink Ribbon Walk last year, to develop an outreach programme involving training of volunteers to equip them to visit and counsel breast cancer patients living in rural areas as well as the hospital. The doctors will encourage patients to visit us at the Centre. In this respect, as part of our fundraising plans for 2013, BPR hopes to raise sufficient funds for a minibus for transporting patients living outside Denpasar to Pink Ribbon House.....
Thanks for the update Gaye, WHOW will continue to raise money to help in your efforts!!
Saturday June 13, 2014 – WHOW annual fundraiser at The Caravan Club featuring Models Super Orchestra and guests……For tickets go to trybooking.com or call Sara on 0439 149914.
Friends & Supporters
Andrew Duffield Music
Bali International Women’s Association(BIWA)
Biggin and Scott
Danielle Zanetti Jewels
Dynamic Stability Physiotherapy & Pilates Studio
East Melbourne Psychology
Kate Seddon Landscape Design
Las Ninas Textiles
Lin Van Hek
Monx Love Hairdressing, Richmond
Prima Medika Hospital, Bali
Richmond Hill Cafe & Larder
Salona Greek Restaurant
Suzy Salter and Co. (Bali Residents)
Swan St. Optometrists
The Big Group
Unique Fitness Studio
Wantilan Bali restaurant
Warung Agus restaurant