Legacy lives on

Sound Telegraph
Rockingham General Hospital nurses Julie Macleod and Maxine Reynolds with Rhonda McNeill, centre.
Camera IconRockingham General Hospital nurses Julie Macleod and Maxine Reynolds with Rhonda McNeill, centre. Credit: Supplied

In February 2019, Nancy Toomey lost her battle with breast cancer.

But her kind-hearted spirit has lived on thanks to her daughter Rhonda McNeill, who has been raising money via Containers for Change to buy basic items to help support patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Ms Toomey was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017.

She was receiving treatment at the Rockingham General Hospital oncology unit, where her daughter says she met lots of patients who were unable to afford to buy the basic items they needed.

“Mum always talked about how lucky she was to be able to have the small things that made her treatments more comfortable”, Ms McNeill said. “It made her quite sad (that others couldn’t afford basic items). We often talked about the ways we might be able to help”.

When Containers for Change kicked off, Ms McNeill saw it as an opportunity to raise funds to buy skin lotions, hair products, mouth products and chocolates to create baskets for the RGH oncology unit staff to distribute to their most vulnerable patients.

"My friends all thought it was a wonderful idea and have all become involved by collecting cans and bottles to help raise money”,” Ms McNeill said.

RGH ambulatory nurse manager Maxine Reynolds said patients were very grateful.

“It is a lovely gesture from Rhonda in memory of her mother”, she said.

So far, Ms McNeill and her friends have delivered three baskets with the aim of delivering a basket every month to help vulnerable cancer patients feel more comfortable as they undergo their treatment.

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