Jill Sanders is one of our eleven passionate Regional Cancer Support Coordinators. Jill helps guide people through their cancer journey and provides practical information, emotional support and connects anyone affected by cancer to local services and support groups in the Midwest.
Find out more about Jill, including her role as Regional Cancer Support Coordinator, what she enjoys most about her role and more!
Where do you work from?
I work from offices generously supplied to us by the Geraldton Regional Hospital. We are located within the Community Health building at the rear of the hospital. We currently have the use of three rooms, our main office, a reception room and waiting area and a touch base therapy room.
How long have you been in your role / what is your background?
I have been in the role as a Cancer Support Coordinator since March 2019. My background is in education; my last role involved coordinating Literacy Support for primary school children. I completed a basic nursing course late in life and have worked in Palliative care and Pastoral care. Early in my working career I worked as a veterinary nurse and spent some time volunteering at the Perth Zoo.
Can you describe an average day as a Cancer Support Coordinator in your region?
No day is exactly the same! I book appointments and meet newly referred clients and visit regular clients who are in-patients in the hospice or receiving chemotherapy. Much of the time is spent ringing clients to maintain psychosocial support. We also have many folk dropping in throughout the day. On Wednesdays I have our admin volunteer assisting and one of our reiki volunteers offering appointments. On Thursdays I call into the chemotherapy ward at St John of God and on Friday morning I attend the Post Clinic Oncology meeting.
What do you love most about your role?
I most enjoy talking face-to-face with people and reassuring them of our interest and support.
What kind of services can you help people in your region with?
We offer many services, including: Psychological/ emotional support, financial and practical support, referrals to counselling and support groups, peer support and information on other services providers.
Can you describe the best memory you have of working at Cancer Council WA?
My best memory so far has been with an elderly lady who shared her story over an hour long appointment. She had suffered considerable grief especially in recent years. At the end of the conversation she gave a hug and said that the meeting had made her day and she was incredibly grateful. It was another reminder of why our services are so important.
Are there any volunteers or other organisations you work closely with in your area?
We have an enormously helpful admin volunteer, a peer support volunteer and our therapists who are in demand. We work closely with the chemotherapy ward at St John of God and the Midwest Cancer Centre at the Regional hospital. At times we also liaise with Community Palliative, St John of God Pastoral care and the social workers.
How can people get in touch with you?
We are always happy to be contacted by phone or email. The office phone is 9956 2408 and the shared email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about our services, programs or resources for cancer patients, family and friends, please see How can we assist you?