BALLARAT oncology nurse Judi Morrison thanked the crowd for turning out in “miserable” weather.
But the mood was far from miserable, as a program designed to help cancer patients beat being miserable was launched at St John Of God Hospital last week.
The hospital’s cancer wellbeing program, named Renew, was launched on Friday to coincide with the Cancer Council’s major fundraiser, Daffodil Day.
The program is for patients who have had a cancer diagnosis and treatment and focuses on patients’ mental and physical wellbeing.
Ms Morrison, the co-ordinator of Renew, said the program greatly improved the outcomes for these patients.
“We’ve been running this one... here for about six years,” she said.
“It’s now been enhanced and offers flexibility, but can also be tailored to the patient’s specific needs.”
Ms Morrison said following the often gruelling chemotherapy or radiotherapy regimes, patients could make use of Renew, which consisted of a circuit of activities including exercise bike, steps, walking and upper and lower limb weights.
Former patient Lynette Carnes said her sessions once a week had helped her recover from breast cancer and introduced her to many wonderful friends.
“It’s like a big family,” she said
“As soon as I finished the chemo and radiation, I started the rehab program and I still come once a week.
“On different weeks they had a psychiatrist and then they’d have people come and talk about nutrition.”