Better Care Appeal boost for Christmas

Clare Plozza cherishes every celebratory occasion, including Christmas.

As a survivor of breast cancer, she understands the importance of prioritising the most important people and events in her life.

Celebrations are also a time to reflect on her cancer experience and how far the journey has taken her. This year, Clare joined Latrobe Regional Health’s (LRH) Community Advisory Committee and is a consumer representative for Breast Cancer Network Australia.

Clare is also an ambassador for LRH’s Better Care Appeal which is raising funds for an imaging system to be used during breast cancer surgery.

The equipment enables a surgeon to assess whether all of the cancer has been removed, while the patient is still in the operating theatre.

“I had a lumpectomy (surgery to remove a breast tumour) but later a biopsy revealed some cancerous cells remained, meaning a second surgery was required.  You really want a surgeon to be able to say: ‘we got it all’, when you come out of surgery,” Clare said.

“The imaging machine will mean breast cancer patients will hopefully have only one visit to the surgeon and be able to move quickly to the next step of treatment.”

In the last 12 months LRH has performed more than 100 breast cancer surgeries for patients across Gippsland.

Having surgery and treatment closer to home means avoiding the stress of travelling to Melbourne and being away from family and friends.

“I chose to stay local and go through the public health system. My diagnosis, multiple surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation treatment were all done right here in Traralgon. I received wonderful care at LRH and didn’t have to spend a night away from home, which in my opinion, aided my recovery,” Clare said.

This Christmas, Clare has asked her family to donate to the Better Care Appeal instead of buying her a gift.

“I urge the community to please consider contributing, as a nod to lost loved ones, and to enable LRH to offer even better care for breast cancer patients in our community,” she said.

The Better Care Appeal aims to raise $135,000 to purchase the high-definition imaging system.

Thanks to the generosity of the Collier Foundation, LRH is running a matched giving campaign. Every donation made to the appeal before 31 December will be matched dollar-for- dollar.

Donations to the Better Care Appeal can be made at: