The McGrath Foundation is a breast cancer support and education charity in Australia, which raises money to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia and provides education to increase breast awareness in young women. The charity was originally founded by Australian cricket player, Glenn McGrath, and his English born wife, Jane McGrath, in 2002, following Jane’s initial diagnosis and recovery from breast cancer. Jane died on 22 June 2008 at the age of 42.
McGrath Breast Care Nurses
After her treatment for secondary cancer in 2003, Jane had access to a breast care nurse for the first time and became aware of the impact that they can have on a patient’s physical and mental wellbeing during and after treatment.
This experience led to the development of the Foundation’s two main aims, to ensure every Australian family experiencing breast cancer has access to a breast care nurse no matter where they live or their financial situation. Thus one of the main objectives of the Foundation is to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia.
McGrath Breast Care Nurses are specially trained nurses who act as patient advocates, coordinating care for women experiencing breast cancer, their families and their carers. Since 2003, the McGrath Foundation has worked with the community across Australia to assess which areas are in most need of the support of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse. As of March 2014[update], the McGrath Foundation has placed 89 McGrath Breast Care Nurses around Australia, who have supported more than 25,000 Australian families. Currently, 87% of all McGrath Breast Care Nurses are in rural and regional areas.
People experiencing breast cancer can self refer to their nearest McGrath Breast Care Nurse, whose support is then provided completely free of charge. The McGrath Foundation needs to raise approximately $380,000 to place each McGrath Breast Care Nurse in the community for a three-year period.
In 2008, the Australian Government pledged $12 million to the McGrath Foundation to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses in 44 communities for the next three years.
The Australian Government furthered this commitment in 2013, announcing an $18.5 million grant to continue funding 44 existing McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities nationally as well as the placement of up to an additional 10 full-time equivalent McGrath Breast Care Nurse positions.
The formal training of dedicated breast care nurses was pioneered by LaTrobe University in partnership with Cancer Council Victoria in 1997. Since then over 900 nurses have been trained as Breast Care Nurses.
The second aim of the McGrath Foundation is to promote breast awareness in young women. Only 31 when she was first diagnosed with breast cancer, Jane felt passionately about empowering people under 40 to take control of their health by being breast aware.
To encourage Australian women to become breast aware, the McGrath Foundation has developed a breast awareness initiative called Curve Lurve (www.curvelurve.com.au)
- Glenn and Jane McGrath Transcript. Interview with Andrew Denton. 24 May 2004. Enough Rope. ABC Television. Sydney. http://www.abc.net.au/tv/enoughrope/transcripts/s1115161.htm. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
- Brown, Alex (22 June 2008). "Jane McGrath dies". Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney). Retrieved 2013-04-23.
- McGrath Breast Care Nurses
- About the McGrath Foundation
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- "More Funding for McGrath Foundation Breast Care Nurses" (Press release). Prime Minister of Australia, Minister for Health, Sydney. 5 January 2013. Retrieved 2013-04-23.
- Think Pink Foundation
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- McGrath, Jane and Glenn. A Love For Life, Sydney, 2000.