The Cindy Mackenzie Breast Cancer Foundation Inc. (cmbcf) is a not-for-profit orgainisation launched on April 24, 2007.
The Sunshine Coast’s Cindy Mackenzie passed away on April 20, 2006 at age 39 after an eight month battle with breast cancer. During that time she and John met and heard of numerous young women on the Coast who were suffering not only from breast cancer but financial hardship as well.
Cindy and John were extremely fortunate to have great medical and insurance coverage. John was fortunate in that his job allowed him to take time off work to care for Cindy and their two young girls, Gemma and Hannah. Others in the community are not.
Cindy was very community minded. She was compassionate, warm and caring. She loved people, life and laughter. She had many passions – travel, entertaining, camping, not to mention calling the local radio station to enter just about any competition that was going. Her greatest passion though, was her family and the wonderful weekends and holidays they enjoyed together.
In her months of treatment for breast cancer, Cindy’s most cherished moments remained those spent with her family and friends, especially with John and the two girls. The fact that John was able to take time off from work was a bonus. Then there was a family holiday together, camping on the beach, something they always loved.
There was a brief trip away with John to Vietnam, birthday parties for the girls and a picnic on the family lawn organized by Hannah. Cindy also cherished the support given to her and her family by the “gourmet angels,” a group of friends, neighbours and school mums who provided meals during her illness.
Yet it was during her treatment that Cindy also realized that none of this would have been possible if they, their family and friends, had not had the financial means to make life comfortable and fun even while she was suffering so terribly. It is for this reason that before she passed away Cindy expressed a desire for John to give back to the community that so generously supported Cindy and her family.
As a result, the Cindy Mackenzie Breast Cancer Foundation was born. The creation of the Foundation honours Cindy’s memory and her desire to give back to the community that so lovingly and warmly supported her. It also reflects Cindy’s strong community spirit and the care she always had for those around her.
It is a special community initiative that goes to the very grassroots of the Sunshine Coast. It is all about making a difference to families living with breast cancer that may be financially, as well as emotionally and spiritually challenged by the illness.
The Foundation aims to provide relief in many ways, whether it is practical support with meals, assistance in the home, ironing or gardening, a massage after surgery, a weekend away for the family, assisting with after school activities or arranging counselling or family support.
News of breast cancer is devastating. The questions of where to turn, who to turn to, how to digest the mountains of information and to make life-saving decisions on treatment can be overwhelming but to keep family life as normal as possible - school, meals, after-school activities ands much more - is almost impossible.
There are many breast cancer charities around Queensland and Australia, but only the Cindy Mackenzie Breast Cancer Foundation is specifically aimed at helping the Sunshine Coast community.