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Elizabeth McKervey

Prostate cancer nurse, Liz McKervey has dedicated herself to caring for men

New support for men facing prostate cancer

18 Dec 2019

 

Nepean Cancer Care Centre’s new Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia specialist nurse Liz McKervey says she has the perfect role.

“I’m very lucky to be working in such a unique role,” Ms McKervey says. “I’m looking out for the whole person, not just their cancer. I ask patients what they need, and then I provide support through education and counselling, including for their family and caregivers, to keep them well.”

Growing up alongside brothers, Liz grew to learn her professional passion was nursing men. “They show such tenacity. I just love them and I get so much out of it,” she says.

Ms McKervey really prefers the attention to be focused on her patients but says she is very happy to be working and caring for people of her own community.

“Listening and chatting really calms the patient – they’re like Energiser bunnies – they just get up and keep going.”

She says she is continually amazed by her patients’ strength during their cancer journey.

John, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago, says specialist prostate nurses are “angels” and help to provide information and support in between GP and specialist oncologist appointments.

“People like Liz, have a way about them. You feel more than just a client, she provides a reassuring connection and allows people to ‘get away’ from the disease,” says John.

John has himself also provided his own support to other, newly diagnosed, patients via the Nepean/Blue Mountains Prostate Cancer Support Group.

Elizabeth_McKervey and John Szymanski

John with Liz McKervey

Ms McKervey has joined the Nepean Cancer Care Centre team thanks to funds raised by Dry July participants.

Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia (PCFA) CEO, Professor Jeff Dunn AO, says the support of a specialist nurse is vitally important for all men diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“From the day of diagnosis, our nurses are available to provide information, care, and support – ensuring that men and their partners don’t have to go through prostate cancer alone.

“Beyond the trials and tribulations of treatment, many men experience clinically significant distress, depression, and anxiety, and may face ongoing challenges long after treatment finishes.

“Without the support of Dry July and hundreds of generous community fundraisers from this region, this life-changing support would not be possible.”

Brett Macdonald, Co-founder and CEO of Dry July Foundation is delighted Dry July funds have enabled the appointment of a Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse for the Nepean and Blue Mountains region.

“We understand the need for more specialist nurses across Australia, and Dry July will continue to do everything that we can to support PCFA to grow and facilitate this program because it is so important,” says Mr Macdonald.

Ends