Fiona Hayes battle made easier by the important work of Pink in the Tropics


Karlie Brady

Junior Reporter

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Fiona Hayes [centre] celebrating Pink in the Tropics' AFL pink day fundraiser. Image: Supplied.

This month at Newsport, we are looking at the small charities that are making a big difference in the Douglas Shire.

First up we turn our attention to Pink in the Tropics, a breast cancer support group that aims to help women feel less isolated during their breast cancer journey.

For local Fiona Hayes, Pink in the Tropics has been vital to wellbeing during her breast cancer battle.

“A service like this is instrumental,” she said.

“One of the most meaningful things they do is come in and give you a gift pack and it explains it all in layman’s terminology and the representatives follow up with you, they will always ring and see how it’s going and offer their services.” 

Pink in the Tropics was formed in 2007 by four local ladies, all diagnosed with breast cancer, who banded together to support one another.

Ms Hayes, who was diagnosed in February is undergoing six months of chemotherapy followed by six weeks of radiation.

She said having someone local who has been through it and knows how you’re feeling is so important.

“The journey is daunting enough but to have people like Annie [director of Pink in the Tropics] who has been through it herself who understands where you’re coming from and also avails herself 24/7, makes it that little bit smoother.”

Pink in the Tropics not only offers women battling the disease emotional support, but it also organises services to make day to day life during a difficult time easier.

The services they organise include housekeeping, delivering fresh meals, gardening, babysitting, travel for doctors’ appointments and also flying family members in when needed.

“The fact that it is a volunteer not-for-profit organisation that is so supportive of the people going through this is outstanding,” Ms Hayes said.

“The McGrath Foundation Breast Cancer Nurse is with you when you go through surgery, but once that surgery is finished and you go into chemotherapy that's where they stop.

“So once you go into chemotherapy you don't have a support person and that’s where Annie and the committee step in and not only offer their service but for someone who couldn’t afford to have someone clean their house, it’s all pro-bono.”

To fund their important services, Pink in the Tropics holds two major fundraisers a year.

One was their AFL pink day held back in May, which raised $8,000 and saw the Port Douglas Crocs don pink Guernsey’s in support of Breast cancer awareness.

The other fundraiser event is the Melbourne Cup luncheon in November, kindly hosted by Salsa Bar and Grill.

Pink in the Tropics said they are blown away by the generosity of the community during these events and if anyone would like to donate throughout the rest of the year they should visit Pink in the Tropics for more information. 

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