Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Cricket Australia: Jane McGrath’s legacy continues to inspire on Jane McGrath Day

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Photo Credit: Cricket Australia

Alison Szwajcer, Jane McGrath’s breast care nurse, will be at the SCG today as Australia pays tribute to Jane McGrath at the Vodafone Pink Test for Jane McGrath Day.

One of Australia’s first breast care nurses, Alison was there to support Jane when she was re-diagnosed with breast cancer, allowing Jane to see first hand the incredible difference it made to have access to a breast care nurse like Alison. 

It was Alison’s support that led Jane to believe every breast cancer patient should have access to this specialised care and support no matter where they live and for free, helping to focus the mission for the McGrath Foundation which now funds 154 McGrath Breast Care Nurses.

Now a Metastatic McGrath Breast Care Nurse at St George Hospital, Alison believes Jane understood how breast care nurses could be incredibly beneficial to other families going through breast cancer.

“Jane found it helpful to have someone she could call, to ask questions, get clarification or even just to speak to if she was just having a down day. Having not had access to a breast care nurse when first diagnosed, I think she believed everyone going through breast cancer should receive this kind of support,” Alison said.

“To know that the McGrath Foundation came about because of the experience Jane had with myself and my colleague, Rosemary, is sometimes quite difficult to comprehend. We can see such a huge benefit for everyone diagnosed with breast cancer throughout Australia and I’m very humbled to have been a small part of it.”

McGrath Foundation Co-Founder and President, Glenn McGrath, said Alison had a huge impact on his family.

“When we first met Alison, we couldn’t have imagined the difference her support would make to Jane, but also our entire family,” Glenn said. 

“We’re just one of the many thousands of families who have been touched by breast cancer, but to think all of this started because of our experience with Alison is truly incredible.”

McGrath Foundation Ambassador and Director, Tracy Bevan, said Jane McGrath Day is an important way to recognise how one person could spark change.

“Today we recognise my best friend Jane’s legacy, but also the work of our McGrath Breast Care Nurses, like Alison, who go to work each day trying to make a patient’s breast cancer experience that little bit easier.

“In their own way, both Jane and Alison were committed to ensuring the best support and care for those going through breast cancer.

“Every year, I say how Jane would be gobsmacked by the sea of pink at the SCG on Jane McGrath Day. But this year, she would be completely overwhelmed by how Australia has got behind our virtual Pink Seat campaign. 

“So if you’d like to show your support for the 55 Australians diagnosed with breast cancer every day, buy your virtual Pink Seats from pinktest.com.au,”  Tracy said.

Visit pinktest.com.au to find out all the ways you can get involved in the 2021 Pink Test, including:

  • Buying virtual Pink Seats and sharing with #pinktest
  • Bidding in the Pink Test Auction, including a luxury Outback by Air experience for five nights with Glenn McGrath or Pink Test memorabilia, like baggies signed by both teams
  • Downloading a free Pink Party Pack thanks to HCL Technologies, to pink up your ‘home ground’
  • Make a donation online at pinktest.com.au

About the McGrath Foundation

The McGrath Foundation raises funds to support people with breast cancer by providing specialist McGrath Breast Care Nurses where they are most needed across Australia.

The Foundation currently funds 154 McGrath Breast Care Nurses who provide essential physical and emotional support free of charge to anyone experiencing breast cancer and their families from diagnosis and throughout their treatment.

About the Vodafone Pink Test

The McGrath Foundation is the official charity partner of the Vodafone Pink Test and Cricket Cares, Cricket Australia’s community action program.

Now in its 13th year, the Vodafone Pink Test has become a national phenomenon. It is the largest sporting fundraising initiative in Australia where Cricket Australia, the SCG and the wider cricket community, both on and off the field, wear pink as a symbolic show of support for those experiencing breast cancer.

Traditionally Ladies’ Day, Day 3 of the Pink Test is renamed Jane McGrath Day each year and is celebrated with the entire SCG turning pink to raise money for the McGrath Foundation.

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