Dear Members, supporters and friends,
A bit more than a decade ago, a small group of us had an idea to meet what we knew was a real need in our community. That need was to help those who were diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and was inspired by the life of my wife, Louise Perkins.
Much is known and written about primary breast cancer. And that is a good thing. But advanced breast cancer doesn’t grab the headlines. It’s wonderful that so many women benefit from early diagnosis and treatment, but the reality is that for those 10-15% of women whose breast cancer recurs, their prognosis is dire. Their lives literally change the moment their recurrence is communicated. The confusing – at times terrifying – challenges of tests, treatment, more doctors and side effects are one dimension. What to do about the bigger questions of one’s mortality and how that will impact family and friends is another.
So we created Sweet Louise to help. To help alongside great medicine, to help without directing, to help by being close, personal, listening, caring and skilled. To help empower women to live their lives to the fullest. To help by meeting whatever needs it might be that stand in the way of that precious enjoyment.
Our Sweet Louise Support Coordinators make it all happen. A meal on the table for a family in need, a gardener or a builder, a masseur, a counsellor, a photographer, a movie ticket, someone to help fit a new prosthetic or just someone to talk to. That’s what Sweet Louise does every day.
We have become a friend to close to 2000 families in our decade. We never imagined that more than 90% of all women with advanced breast cancer would choose to become members of Sweet Louise. Their stories are humbling and uplifting.
To all of you who have donated, who have supported us as volunteers, who have worked as part of the amazing Sweet Louise team, you have so much to be proud of. Thank you.