After struggling with her own breast cancer journey, Wendy Paterson was determined to make the battle easier for other women going through a similar experience. She knew she could not bring them health, but she could bring them hope.

“There was an overwhelming lack of support not only for women and men but also their families,” explains Wendy, who has co-founded breast cancer support group Be Uplifted alongside good friend Barb Zimmerlie. “It was our intention to provide the foundation for people to be heard, seen, connected and supported.  It was our chance to give back to the community that desperately needed some help and kindness.”

While there are many charities dedicated to raising money for breast cancer research, Wendy believes it is important to support people going through the illness. “Breast cancer is not a cheap illness to experience and individuals and families desperately need help,” she explains. “Many can lose their jobs, homes and find that relationships break down and partners leave. Be Uplifted offers a wide range of support services that unfortunately breast cancer research does not.” Wendy says the most rewarding part of her work has been seeing incredible people “going from strength to strength”. “It is fascinating to watch someone go from being uninformed, scared and lost to being informed, empowered and most of all supported,” she says.

Be Uplifted is a self-funded charity and as such, it does not receive funds from the government. Instead, it relies on volunteer-driven work and fundraising events to keep costs low. “We stay focused on people with breast cancer and have a dedicated fundraising team that runs all types of events such as high teas, wine tours, shopping tours and auctions,” explains Wendy. “This allows us to not only bring in greatly needed funds but to create awareness in the community.”

You can help support Be Uplifted by attending their events, shopping at one of two Op shops in Aspley and Zillmere, making monetary or corporate donations or joining their events team. “There is always something that can be done,” says Wendy. “We operate by the saying ‘thank you for helping us to help others’.”

Banner Image: Barbara Zimmerlie and Wendy Paterson.

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