When Jo was feeling well enough we would often discuss how she would like to visit patients or set up a support group where they could meet and talk about the physical, emotional and spiritual effects this disease was having on them. Jo had also mentioned that she was very fortunate to have a strong Christian faith as well as the love and support of her family and an abundance of friends. This was very important for her emotional well being at that time.
Joanne felt so blessed to have such a strong support network and felt concern for the less fortunate women. Some doing it alone, sometimes single women with children, all going through the same physical and emotional pain, with the added anxiety of paying bills.
THE JOANNE MACKAY FOUNDATION (JMBCF)
Incorporating Jo's Helping Hand
Joanne lost her battle with breast cancer on 11th July 2002 and the fund was set up just a few months later.
Our first fundraiser was held in October that year after lot of hard work by Jo' s friends. Among the people who attended were Tracey Bevan and Jason Stephens.
The aim of our foundation is to help patients and their families with their basic day to day struggles. We help with housework, transport, paying of medical and utility bills. We buy wigs and prosthetic breasts and have often been happy to help with one off requests from patients who are truly in need. Our foundation is still relatively small but over the years we have been able to support hundreds of patients who are going through hard times. Patients must be assessed in hospital by oncology nurses or social workers and referred to us by them.