As Chief Executive Officer of Cancer Council WA, this is the most important message I have ever written. Australia has entered into uncharted territory, and I am writing this in the most trying of circumstances given the economic downturn amid the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The unprecedented impact of these events is forcing me to make decisions never before seen in the history of Cancer Council WA. Decisions I never imagined I would have to make. These include what services and support we are able to continue to deliver to the community, now and into the future.
Regrettably, one of the decisions I have already had to make is to cancel or postpone all upcoming Cancer Council WA fundraising events, community education sessions and workshops.
This decision has not been made lightly, but we have a duty of care to the patients, supporters, volunteers, staff and others we are currently supporting – nothing is more important than the safety and wellbeing of all those we support and work with.
As the Coronavirus outbreak evolves, it is likely there will continue to be even more disruptions to how Cancer Council WA is able to fulfil our mission to support fellow West Australians who are impacted by cancer.
Despite what else is happening in the world, every day another 33 West Australians will hear the words “you have cancer”. Cancer does not rest and neither do we.
Coronavirus is particularly dangerous for people with compromised immune systems, including cancer patients and survivors who have had their immune systems suppressed after treatment. At a time when the WA cancer community is most at risk, we need to ensure we can continue to provide vital support services.
But we are greatly concerned about our ability to do this in an environment where our fundraising income is significantly affected.
With the cancellation of our upcoming major fundraising events, we face the very real possibility of falling short in the funding we need for these critical cancer services, such as financial assistance and counselling, now and into the future.
If you’re at all able to make an extra special donation today, it would go a long way to ensuring we can continue to provide our vital services to those who need it most during these unprecedented and uncertain times.