Never too old to vol­un­teer

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Health - By KATE LEAVER

AC­CORD­ING to 94-year-old breast can­cer sur­vivor Sheila Ho­gan, you get more than you give with vol­un­teer work.

The In­naloo res­i­dent, who has vol­un­teered for 29 years for Can­cer Coun­cil WA, has come out of ‘re­tire­ment’ to raise funds once again for can­cer coun­cil’s an­nual Daf­fodil Day on Au­gust 26.

“I main­tain that if you do vol­un­tary work you get more back than you give,” Ms Ho­gan said.

“You get a lot back from it; it re­ally does make a dif­fer­ence to peo­ple.”

Dur­ing the 80s, Ms Ho­gan vol­un­teered to make wigs and fringes for women un­der­go­ing che­mother­apy in hos­pi­tal.

“Now peo­ple used to get very stressed out par­tic­u­larly if they were el­derly,” she said.

“One par­tic­u­lar lady only had one son and I said to her I have got a phone next to my bed, any­time you want to talk give me a call.”

Can­cer Coun­cil now has a free phone line for can­cer in­for­ma­tion and sup­port.

Ms Ho­gan said she had her mas­tec­tomy in 1975 and used her ex­pe­ri­ences to help oth­ers when she worked as a vol­un­teer.

“If you’ve been there done it, you can talk to other peo­ple about it and help other peo­ple,” she said. “It was sad to see some of them in hos­pi­tal but be­cause I’d been there be­fore I was able to help them.”

Ms Ho­gan said in the 70s the at­ti­tudes to­wards can­cer were very dif­fer­ent.

“When I first started peo­ple would whis­per the word can­cer, as if it was some­thing you didn’t talk about,” she said.

“Peo­ple know more about can­cer now and there is a lot more hope and op­ti­mism about re­search, which is why peo­ple don’t worry about wear­ing wigs so much.

Ms Ho­gan will be sell­ing Daf­fodil Day pins and flow­ers at Gwelup Shop­ping Cen­tre. Visit www.can­cerwa.asn.au.

Picture: An­drew Ritchie d457986

Daf­fodil Day Can­cer Coun­cil WA vol­un­teer Sheila Ho­gan.

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