Hockey club joins Better Care Appeal

When Kate Steinmann was faced with life-changing breast cancer surgery, finding a medical professional who listened and cared, was important.

“When I was told I needed the surgery, some friends encouraged me to consider surgeons down in Melbourne. I spent a lot of time on the phone only to find that many of them only took private patients. It was pretty upsetting,” Kate said.

However, a friend told her about Latrobe Regional Health (LRH) breast cancer surgeon, Mr KJ Tan.

“My friend had worked with KJ and described him as caring, professional and someone who listened. I thought, yes, I love the sound of this guy,” Kate said.

According to Kate, finding Mr Tan was a “godsend” and it meant she could receive the treatment she needed as a public patient, close to home with family and friends more able to support her.

Kate required two surgeries, which is why she is now fundraising for the LRH Better Care Appeal.

The appeal for a high-definition imaging system will allow surgeons to x-ray breast tumour specimens while the patient is still in the operating theatre. The image assists with confirming all of the tumour has been removed.

“It’s likely that I would have only needed one surgery if LRH had been able to access a portable high-definition imaging system. Every time you go to surgery, it’s more stress, more emotional turmoil and of course more risk.

“Hopefully we can raise a significant amount towards the purchase of the imager,” Kate said.

Mr Tan said the imaging system would enable LRH to offer more precise breast cancer surgery and the reduced likelihood of subsequent surgeries.

“It creates lower risk for patients because less time is spent in the operating theatre. This reduces potential risks associated with anaesthetic, infection and bleeding,” he said.
A keen hockey player, Kate is a life member of the Maffra Hockey Club (MHC) and coaches the under 18 squad.

MHC committee member, fellow life member and Kate’s team-mate, Jo O’Doherty said the club is excited to get behind the LRH appeal and also support Kate.

“I saw the appeal in local media around the time Kate was undergoing her treatment. When she had to go back into surgery for a further operation, I thought, this would be such a great thing to help out with and help women receiving treatment for breast cancer,” Jo said.

Fifteen-year-old Eva Humphris played alongside and was coached by Kate last season. She is another MHC player supporting Kate’s efforts.

“Kate’s a passionate, dedicated and determined person. It meant a lot to me that she continued to make time to coach us even through her diagnosis and treatment. Anything we can do to decrease the suffering of people with cancer and their friends, families and communities is a worthy cause. “

Not surprisingly, as someone who chases a result in a hockey setting, Kate has set a target for the fundraising campaign.

“I’ve always worn the number 48 jersey as a player, so we’re trying to raise $4800. It’s not a massive amount, but it’s not a small target either, so we’ll promote this important fundraiser far and wide,” Kate said.

“We are largely unaware of the need for these types of equipment until you need them yourself. Hopefully, if we can help get towards the target figure, women of Gippsland will get the same swift, caring and professional treatment I received with less visits to theatre for the same outcome.”

To help the Maffra Hockey Club reach their target, please click the link below: