Kempsey's much-loved Lilli Pilli Ladies have turned fundraising into an art form that continues to provide vital support for local cancer patients.
The hard working volunteers held an afternoon tea at Sherwood Hall in October, and this week presented the proceeds from their highly successful event to the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute at Port Macquarie and Kempsey District Hospital.
The donation included a vital signs monitor, costing $5162.75, for the MNCCI and two Niki syringe drivers, costing $4000, for Kempsey's Palliative Care patients.
Lilli Pilli Ladies' Judy Saul admitted the group's fundraising events were a lot of hard work, but quickly added they were also very rewarding.
"We love hosting events such as our annual afternoon tea or Christmas in July because they are so much fun and bring everyone together for a fabulous social get together," Ms Saul said.
"But we also know we are making a real difference for local patients who are seriously ill.
"Cancer touches everyone's life, either directly or indirectly, so our events strike a chord with many people.
"Our fundraisers are organised by locals, supported by locals and they support locals. It doesn't get better than that."
MNCCI Nursing Unit Manager Jenny Baroutis expressed her gratitude for the vital signs monitor, one of six donated by the community as part of a world-first project, developed by the MNCCI's IT and nursing staff.
The state-of-the-art vital signs monitors wirelessly connect with an oncology-specific electronic medical records system, eliminating the need for nurses to manually transcribe patient vital signs.
"The project enables real time clinical decisions to be based on accurate and immediate patient observations, it eliminates errors during the transcription process and it means nurses have more time to spend with their patients," Ms Baroutis said.
"We need 12 monitors to complete the project in the chemotherapy treatment room and another in radiography, so we are half way there thanks to the Lilli Pilli Ladies."
Kempsey's Inpatient Nursing Unit Manager Brett Bowen was also grateful for the Lilli Pilli Ladies' support.
"This equipment, which is small, portable and battery powered, is vital in administering medicines for symptom management in patients who are seriously ill in hospital or at home," Mr Bowen said.
"The equipment really is necessary during palliative care, especially where patients are not well enough to swallow medicines.
"We are very fortunate to have the support of the Lilli Pilli Ladies, and grateful for their efforts which will improve medication management for our patients."