Cancer patients benefit from 'Nancy's gift baskets'

A woman wearing sunglasses stands beside the open boot of a car holding a crate of recyclable cans
Rhonda McNeill's recycling efforts are bringing comfort to vulnerable cancer patients.
March 16, 2021

Nancy Toomey was a cancer patient at the Rockingham (RGH) Oncology Unit receiving treatment for breast cancer which she was diagnosed with in 2017. In 2019, Nancy lost her battle.

"Mum always talked about how lucky she was to be able to have the small things that made her treatments more comfortable”, said daughter Rhonda McNeill.

During Nancy’s time at RGH, she met a lot of cancer patients who were not able to afford to buy basic items they needed.

“It made her quite sad. We often talked about the ways we might be able to help”, said Rhonda.

When Containers for Change was announced in Western Australia in late 2020, Rhonda saw it as an opportunity to raise funds to buy basic items cancer patients needed while undergoing chemotherapy.

"My friends all thought it was a wonderful idea and have all become involved by collecting cans and bottles to help raise money” said Rhonda.

Rhonda and her friends have been collecting containers for change and buying items such as skin lotions, hair products, mouth products and chocolates and dropping off baskets to the RGH Oncology Unit for staff to distribute to their most vulnerable patients.

“Our patients are so grateful for Nancy’s Gift Baskets, it is a lovely gesture from Rhonda in memory of her mother”, said RGH Ambulatory Nurse Manager, Maxine Reynolds.

So far, Rhonda and her friend Jennifer have delivered three baskets and hope to deliver a basket every month to help vulnerable cancer patients feel more comfortable as they undergo their treatment. 

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