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Three ways to support a single issue

As you know, Snowy Mountain Spring Water is a Platinum level sponsor of the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF). Prior to taking up this sponsorship, we actively supported Breast Cancer Network Australia.

Before our sponsorship of the NBCF, the Foundation had a sponsorship arrangement with Mt Franklin Spring Water, Coca Cola Amatil’s flagship spring water brand. However, they have now moved their support to the third major breast cancer organisation in Australia, the McGrath Foundation.

We all know what bottlers of spring water do, but what of these three organisations that, in their own way, do so much for women (and men) with breast cancer in Australia.

Here’s an overview of each of them.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation
The largest and perhaps most well known of the three is the NBCF. Established in 1994 the aim of the NBCF is to:
•  Support and promote high quality research that addresses the causes and direct care of women (and men) with breast cancer,
•  Facilitate consumer participation in all aspects of our work
•  Act as an advocate for breast cancer research
•  Provide opportunities for all Australians to support high quality breast cancer research

Since its establishment, the NBCF has provided in excess of $55 million to over 230 breast cancer research projects across Australia including a National Collaborative Program. Research projects cover every aspect of breast cancer from prevention, diagnosis and treatment to psychosocial care, survivorship and palliative care.

The foundation also provides funds for Doctoral & Postdoctoral Scholarships, Concept & Pilot projects and Career Awards.

The NBCF does not receive any government funding, and therefore relies on corporate and community support to continue its work. Some research projects also attract direct funding support from individual sponsors.

The McGrath Foundation
Originally established in 2002 when Jane McGrath was diagnosed with breast cancer and then re-launched in 2005 with the specific aim of raising funds to provide specialist breast cancer nurses to support women with breast cancer.

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. The Foundation works with communities across Australia to assess which areas are in most need of the support of a McGrath Breast Care Nurse. Currently, 87% of all McGrath Breast Care Nurses are in rural and regional areas.

As at June 2010, the Foundation has funded 55 specialist nurses who have supported over 4,500 newly diagnosed families through their breast cancer experience.

People experiencing breast cancer can self refer to their nearest McGrath Breast Care Nurse, whose support is then provided completely free of charge.

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.

Breast Cancer Network Australia
Founded in 1998 as an organisation that would positively influence the way breast cancer was considered in the community.

The BCNA consists of a network of more than 50,000 individual members and 284 Member Groups. More than ninety percent of BCNA members have had a diagnosis of breast cancer, and the remaining members have had a personal experience with breast cancer through a family member or friend.

BCNA aims to:
•  Inform by providing quality, up-to-date information about breast cancer, its treatment and services.
•  Empower women to have a voice in their own health care and to play an active role in improving breast cancer treatment, care and services.
•  Represent women and ensure their voices are heard by policy makers, health providers and planners through our program, policy and advocacy work, and that we are at the table wherever a decision is made about breast cancer.
•  Link together all those who have themselves experienced breast cancer and link individuals and groups sharing similar issues and experiences.

The BCNA is funded through donations and sponsorships

Three very different organisations all adopting a different approach to a very important issue within the Australian community and who all deserve our support.

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