How Respite Care for QBN came about?

The ‘founding mother’ of the Cancer Support Group, Yvonne Cuschieri OAM has provided financial support and friendship to more than 30,000 cancer sufferers and their families over the past three decades. Yvonne’s vocation began in 1985, when she raised funds to send 13 teenagers with cancer to a Canteen camp.

It wasn’t long before social workers were knocking on her door on behalf of other families needing help and Yvonne began hosting support group meetings in her dining room. From humble beginnings, the Cancer Support Group (Rise Above) now assists around 700 patients at any one time with money for treatment and ongoing living expenses.

Yvonne was known for always putting others first, but her desire to help others affected by cancer comes from a deeply personal space. While continuing to fight her own battle with lung cancer, she lost her son to a brain tumour in 2013. This personal pain had made Yvonne even more determined to support others and to build a respite care facility in Queanbeyan. A facility that was not available for her son prior to his passing.

To support her push to provide this facility Yvonne sponsored a petition which was signed by over 2,000 people in Queanbeyan including a large majority of the doctors in Queanbeyan.

Yvonne passed away on 18 June 2021.