Not many people can say their role is funded by a pink tractor ‘ but thanks to the efforts of Mudgee real estate agent, Hugh Bateman, who embarked on a Pink Tractor Trek across NSW in 2015, enough money was raised to fund a McGrath Breast Care Nurse to support families in the Bankstown, Liverpool and Fairfield communities.
Newly appointed Samantha Burns is based at Liverpool and Bankstown Hospitals and will provide invaluable physical, psychological and emotional support from the time of diagnosis and throughout treatment for breast cancer, making a life-changing difference to families she supports, completely free of charge.
Samantha feels honoured and privileged to be the tangible outcome of the generosity of so many individuals and communities across the state who donated to Hugh’s Pink Tractor Trek.
‘This is evidence that Australians are such passionate and kind hearted people and I am so proud to be able to return the favour of generosity shown by so many individuals by serving the wonderful people of South Western Sydney,’ she said.
After witnessing so many friends and clients going through a breast cancer experience, Hugh decided to do something to make a real difference.
‘When I started the journey, I just wanted to raise money for breast care nurses, and provide an awareness, because I know what value our McGrath Breast Care Nurse in Mudgee provides to our local community; to know that I’ve raised enough to support another position for three years in another deserving community is both wonderful and humbling,’ said Hugh.
Samantha, who believes she has ‘found her calling’ in supporting her patients and their families, provides constant reassurance to the families she supports, ensuring that they can remain in control of their breast cancer experience to the best of their ability.
‘There are no words to describe the contentment I feel when I realise what an impact I have had on someone’s life at that point in time. The satisfaction that comes from caring for someone when they are feeling so down and watching them come back to their old self is like no other,’ she said.
Samantha connects on a personal level with individuals with breast cancer and their families and is constantly enriched, surprised and humbled by the lives and stories of the people she meets.
‘I love how culturally diverse the Bankstown, Fairfield & Liverpool communities are. Every person has a story, and in South Western Sydney, the stories are just as diverse and vibrant as the people that reside here.’
The communities Samantha supports are among Sydney’s most diverse ‘ thanks to the translation services provided by the hospitals, she is able to provide care for people who don’t speak English as their first language.
McGrath Foundation Ambassador & Director, Tracy Bevan, said she was in awe of Hugh’s amazing effort to inspire so many Australians to contribute to this very special cause.
‘A huge congratulations and thank you to Hugh for his outstanding fundraising efforts, ensuring the McGrath Foundation can continue to benefit such a variety of families who can do with Samantha’s support.’
‘These nurses act as a patient advocate; they coordinate care not only for those with breast cancer, but also for the families and carers. Since 2005 the McGrath Foundation has supported more than 47,000 families experiencing breast cancer,’ said Tracy.
Families in the Bankstown, Fairfield and Liverpool communities can self-refer to this free service by contacting Samantha Burns on 0472 837 382.