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Masks set to be unveiled in July

Giving up alcohol for one month is a small sacrifice that could make a huge difference for adults on the Central Coast living with cancer.

Dry July is just around the corner and for the seventh year in a row, Central Coast Local Health District’s (CCLHD) own CoastCanCare wellness program will be a beneficiary.

Funds raised through Dry July for CoastCanCare help to support local patients diagnosed with cancer, their families and carers by connecting them and providing information, education and tools to develop skills for coping with a cancer diagnosis, treatments and side effects.

This year, to raise awareness about Dry July and the wellness program, CoastCanCare is running therapeutic art workshops where radiation oncology patients and their carers, friends and family will have the opportunity to create artworks out of their radiation oncology masks.

This will culminate in a unique exhibition titled “Masks Unveiled” to be displayed in Gosford Hospital’s main foyer from 1 July through to September.

Radiation oncology masks are made of mesh and moulded to the patient’s face help to accurately target treatment areas and protect patients during radiotherapy for head and neck cancer.

CoastCanCare Program Coordinator Tia Covi said the masks symbolise something different for each patient.

“The art workshops and exhibition will aim to be a therapeutic and healing exercise, providing an outlet to express patients’ personal experiences,” she said.

Ms Covi said art therapy was just one of the free wellness activities offered by CoastCanCare.

“Other sessions include tai chi, music therapy and exercise groups which all have a strong focus on the importance of self-care, relaxation, mindfulness, support and connectedness during a difficult time in people’s lives,” she said.

“There are also sessions that offer practical advice such as the legal and financial services workshop which equips and empowers people with important information they need to know.”

Ms Covi said the popular CoastCanCare program would not be able to keep having such a positive impact without the support of the local community through the annual Dry July appeal.

“It is wonderful to see the benefits of CoastCanCare for locals living with cancer and we want to continue offering this valuable wellness and recovery program in the future,” she said.

“We are therefore extremely grateful for the Central Coast community’s involvement and generosity in taking on the Dry July challenge and getting behind this great cause.

Visit to sign up or donate.

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