In a move to define its relationship with the community and patients it serves, The Cancer Support Group has been relaunched as “Rise Above – Capital Region Cancer Relief”.
The Cancer Support Group began in 1985 when Yvonne Cuschieri started raising funds to enable 13 local teenagers with cancer to attend a CanTeen national camp. It wasn’t long before social workers started asking for her help for other families who were facing crisis situations. In March 1986, Yvonne asked friends for their help and the first ACT Eden Monaro Cancer Support Group meeting was held in her dining room. Over the years, the number of requests for help has been enormous, to support children and adults with cancer to help ease some of the financial burden placed on these patients and their families during a very difficult time.
Rise Above financially assists cancer patients in the ACT and Queanbeyan area. The group is able to provide assistance to patients with all types of cancer, across all ages. In 2017, their youngest patient is just 12 months old, and they are currently assisting over 900 patients, spending over $600,000 per year financially helping them while they are going through their treatment for cancer.
Through years of involvement with the Canberra community the GSG was often mistaken for other National Cancer Charities and there have been instances where money raised for the CSG was donated to these other national charities, unlike most national charities 100% of CSG donations are spent on people in this region, plus there has also been issues for patients thinking that the CSG provided counselling services for those fighting Cancer, when in fact since 1986, the group has only provided financial support for Cancer Families, but have been able to point families in the right direction for the emotional support services they require.
“The Canberra Region has been nothing short of amazing in its support of our charity, through financial donations and the support given to all of our yearly events including our yearly Truck and Motorbike Convoy, and we wanted the group to reflect that, and, to leave no ambiguity when it came to who we are and what we do for those fighting cancer” said Rise Above CEO Melissa Gardiner. The group has been working behind the scenes on this rebrand since late 2016, and are now in the position to launch their new vision. “Other than the name change, Rise Above will provide all the same services to the Canberra community, our yearly Convoy will now be known as the Rise Above Cancer Convoy, we’ll still help patients with their Medication costs, Chemo costs, Food and Petrol Costs, Dietary Supplements, and Electricity costs, our group founder Yvonne (now fighting her own fight with Cancer) is very excited about the changes and what it means for the organization going forward”, stated Mrs. Gardiner.
The rebrand also coincided with the launch of the Rise Above Support-A-Truck for the 2018 Convoy. The Support-A-Truck becomes a rolling billboard for 12 months and allows local businesses to display their logo for a donation to the group, people can also place in memoriam messages to loved one’s lost to Cancer. The truck raises over $30,000 each year and kicks off the countdown to the Rise Above Cancer Convoy which takes place on Sunday, April 8th, 2018.