Bega Valley McGrath Foundation Breast Care nurse looks back on a 10-year innings

Jenny Garner
Jenny Garner

The grounds of the Sydney Cricket Ground were awash with pink on Saturday as the McGrath Foundation marked the 10 year anniversary of the Pink Test and the passing of its namesake, Jane McGrath.

Watching from home was Breast Screen nurse for the Bega Valley, Jenny Garner. 

“It was beautiful to see some of my colleagues on the screen and hear their patients’ stories,” she said.

For Ms Garner, this year also marks 10 years as a McGrath Breast Care nurse. 

As one of the original Breast Care nurses employed, Ms Garner has seen the foundation expand. 

“When we had our very first meeting, all of the nurses could fit around one table,” she said.

“Now when we have meetings we need 15 tables to fit all of us, it’s incredible how quickly it has grown.”

To mark a decade of partnership with the Ashes cricket competition, the McGrath Foundation set its fundraising bar high, aiming to raise $1.3million to fund 10 new McGrath Breast Care nurses for a year. 

The target was reached on Monday and continues to climb.

By increasing the number of Breast Care nurses across the country, Ms Garner said the McGrath Foundation is building a “brain trust” to fight cancer. 

“Every new nurse adds to information network between us, we’re constantly connected and well resourced with each other’s knowledge,” she said. 

“It’s truly amazing, I’ve seen it develop with the growth and maturity of the foundation, the more nurses there are, the better we can look after our individual patients.”

As a Breast Care nurse, Ms Garner provides free support to people diagnosed with breast cancer and their families, tending to the physical and emotional side of cancer and helping patients navigate the medical world. 

Ms Garner said the Pink Test was a great way for people to understand the importance of Breast Care nurses and regular breast checks. 


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