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Trudy Crowley Foundation 2nd Annual High Tea by the Sea

We recently hosted the 2nd Annual Trudy Crowley Foundation High Tea by the Sea at Fish D'Vine. A fun day with a classic high tea - Waldorf sandwiches, homemade sausage rolls, chicken, cream cheese and celery sandwiches, caramelised onion tarts and a selection of cakes and slices with champagne and fresh pots of tea.

Trudy Crowley was a local Mackay woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Ovarian Cancer is a silent killer of woman. Its symptoms are easy to miss as they show up as easy to ignore or easy to place at other simple womanly complaints such as bloating. Often the disease has progressed before we stop to check it or investigate and treat it as something more sinister. Trudy Crowley felt something was not right but each time she visited her GP it was passed off as nothing to worry about, until finally a nurse who visited her at home said that further tests should be undertaken. By then it was too late as the cancer was aggressive and had taken hold.

Trudy asked the simple question after receiving her diagnosis - "What next? What will this process look like for me?" The generic cancer leaflets did not quite satisfy, and Trudy wanted to ensure that more women would not be faced with the lack of information when this dreadful card was dealt to them in future. She dreamed of a center where support and help could be offered to all who needed it.

The Trudy Crowley Foundation was set up so that more support could be given to women in our regional community when faced with a similar diagnosis. It is not just woman with ovarian cancer who are looked after by the Trudy Crowley Foundation - men with prostate cancer and women with other cancers are also treated with an open door and care for all policy.

The Foundation provides a safe place to share cups of tea together, a wig room to help find a wig or a suitable head scarf during chemotherapy and friendship and support from trained and experienced nurses.

Ambassador of the Trudy Crowley Foundation, Amanda Camm MP spoke of the real challenges faced every day in our regions with hospital bed shortages, the extremely long wait times for specialists' visits and the tyranny of distance to find treatment, that all adds to the stress and challenges faced by regional patients suffering from chronic disease. The system is stretched to breaking point, making the work of organisations such as the Trudy Crowley Foundation even more important.

The important message from Trudy's dad Norm, who shared a touching reading from Trudy, written as she made sense of the disease and faced her own mortality. Trudy implored women to "know your body and pay attention to changes and if they don't seem right then get them checked out".

Through the Foundation and the loving hands that keep it running, Trudy's dream is kept alive, creating a lasting legacy that lives on.

Find out more, get involved or make a donation at Trudy Crowley Foundation

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