Did you ever wonder how BCI Discharge Bags provided to all Breast Cancer patients who come through Westmead Breast Cancer Institute and some affiliated private centres within Western Sydney came to be?
In 2002, a group of like-minded community focussed people came together with an idea to redesign the “temporary breast forms” provided for mastectomy patients after surgery. The team consisted of Colleen Newton a Breast Prostheses fitter, Professor John Boyages, the Founding Director of the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute and the former President now Service Chair of the Zonta Club of Sydney Hills Inc.
They were named the “Discharge Team”. They met when they could and Shirley and Colleen redesigned the temporary breast form (TBF) into a more practical shape.
Shirley negotiated with fabric suppliers to source appropriate fabric at a minimal price, and a professional cutter to cut the shapes from the pattern, finally sourcing an additional team member named Margaret Pritchard who would sew the cushions for a minimal fee.
In more recent times, volunteer Shirley Achilles through her business in the clothing industry, was able to source fabric and cut out the TBFs .
It is thanks to all the contributions from the many patients and supporters of the BCI who enable us to have the funds to continue 15 years later to supply the discharge bags, associated patient fact sheets, pins and cards.
We take this opportunity to thank all the women of Zonta Club of Sydney Hills Inc many new members have been added to the original “Discharge Team” and tirelessly produce the Temporary Breast forms and come to the BCI every month to continue the tradition of packing the bags in readiness for our breast cancer patients.