The McGrath Foundation has marked International Nurses Day by unveiling a powerful mural of a Breast Care Nurse and her 26-year-old patient that pays tribute to the 185 McGrath Breast Care Nurses caring for families impacted by breast cancer across Australia. The Foundation has also announced a commitment to fund 250 Breast Care Nurses by 2025.
The striking mural, located in North Sydney, depicts Victorian Breast Care Nurse Joylene Fletcher and her patient Emily Quinlan.
Emily, from Ballarat, Victoria, was only 25 years old when a shock breast cancer diagnosis turned her world upside down. Through the support of Joylene she was able to navigate her new reality and challenging treatment.
Designed and painted by acclaimed Australian visual artist Sarah McCloskey, the mural aims to symbolise the more than 20,000 Australians diagnosed with breast cancer each year, the current 185 McGrath Breast Cancer Nurses caring for them today, and, importantly, the need for 65 more nurses to reach the Foundation’s goal by 2025.
Known for engaging portraits of women that illustrate both vulnerability and strength, Ms McCloskey said she felt honoured to be given the opportunity to work with the Foundation.
“I was able to witness the strength of the connection between the amazing McGrath Breast Care Nurses and the incredible people they care for,” she said.
“The chance to capture that through my art in a large-scale mural has been a real privilege.”
For Joylene Fletcher, a McGrath Breast Care Nurse for the past five years who works at the Grampians Integrated Health Services in Ballarat, the mural reflects the dedication of nurses across the country and the special connections they forge with patients.
“It’s truly an honour to have our work as McGrath Breast Care Nurses recognised in this beautiful mural and to stand alongside Emily,” Joylene said.
“Emily has shown maturity beyond her age. She has been very courageous in her treatment and has made many sacrifices to give herself the best chance to improve her overall outcome. The love and support surrounding Emily really speaks to the amazing person she is. I am blessed Emily feels comfortable and accepts my support at a time in her life where she is vulnerable, surrounded by uncertainty and challenging treatments.”
The McGrath Foundation raises funds to support people with breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia, by providing specialist McGrath Breast Care Nurses where they are most needed across Australia. Nurses help individuals and their families affected by breast cancer by providing invaluable physical, psychological and emotional support and expert clinical care from the time of diagnosis and throughout treatment.
The Foundation currently funds 185 McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia, and has supported over 110,000 families since 2005. It costs around $140,000 to fund a full time Breast Care Nurse for a year, including training and development.
The Foundation’s commitment to fund 250 McGrath Breast Care Nurses by 2025 – its 20th anniversary – will bring it closer to realising its mission of ensuring that no one goes through breast cancer without the care of a breast care nurse.
Visit www.mcgrathfoundation.com.au/250nurses to learn more about the artwork and McGrath Breast Care Nurses.
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