Foundation has lost sight
Our family has been unfortunate to be touched by blood cancer. Our son Hunter was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2017. Within a week of his diagnosis my first reaction was to contact our local Leukaemia Foundation Coordinator and ask for assistance. She was able to quickly add us to the long accommodation wait list in Melbourne. Eventually we were able to receive accommodation support for nine months while our son underwent treatment in Melbourne.
This support was undeniably essential and very much appreciated. To show our appreciation we felt that it was important to give back and so we started fundraising with World's Greatest Shave. Team Hunter was able to raise over $60,000 through the support of our local community.
It saddens me greatly that the Leukaemia Foundation Coordinator position has remained vacant for the last 12 months and will no longer be replaced. A 1800 phone number cannot replace a friendly face and amazing local knowledge for the almost 400 new patients diagnosed locally with blood cancer, many of whom stay in Albury-Wodonga for their treatment and surveillance.
Border Medical Oncology have recently had a full-time hematologist join their team due to the increasing number of blood cancers diagnosed and treated locally. It continues to remain important that regional patients have equitable access to treatments and services in their home towns.
Leukaemia Foundation has lost sight of a perfectly functioning service and denied blood cancer patients by replacing the local coordinator with a 1800 number. Local communities have raised funds in good faith to ensure services continue not rescind.
Please reconsider this valuable service in our region and reinstate the Albury-Wodonga Leukaemia Foundation Coordinator.
Jacqui McBurnie, Albury
It's a national scandal
It is distressing when those in genuine need are prejudiced by the fraud of calculating collectors but it has quietly arrived on Australia's home page. Millionaire footballers, archbishops and shock jocks, institutions sitting on a mountain of public funding and legislative exemptions are crying poor on religious freedom when those actually marginalised - whose mental health and welfare is in constant danger on account of discrimination - are often trampled, unheard and ignored.
The strategic misrepresentation by a syndicate committed to religious control, relying on societal generosity and goodwill are systematically fleecing a believing public to the detriment of the vulnerable. The parallels are striking. The reality of organisations bloated with privilege, kicking the tin for ammunition to attack minorities under the cover of legislative prerogative is a national scandal crying out for decisive action.
Father Peter Macleod-Miller, St Matthew's Albury
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