Murgon Women Unite for Over Three Decades in Annual Breast Screening Tradition

10 November 2023
The Wesley Hospital staff member assisting older lady walking on crutches.

In a heartwarming tradition spanning over 35 years, a dedicated group of women from the regional town of Murgon in Queensland annually descend upon the Wesley Breast Clinic for their crucial breast screenings. This cherished expedition, which has now entered its second generation, continues to demonstrate the profound sense of community and support that thrives in this tight-knit region.

Situated 90 kilometers west of Gympie, Murgon boasts a population of just 2,700. The journey to the Wesley Hospital in Auchenflower, where the breast screenings take place, covers more than three and a half hours. The women embark on their expedition at the crack of dawn, departing at 6 a.m., and pause for a refreshing coffee break in Esk before reaching their destination.

Thanks to the generosity of their local services club, this spirited group of women travels together in a bus. As they navigate this annual journey, they seize the opportunity to make a day of it, enjoying the chance to catch up with neighbors and friends. Given that some of these women reside in town while others live on farms, this excursion provides a rare occasion for them to reconnect throughout the year.

The 14 women, representing diverse age groups ranging from their 40s to their 80s, have their appointments thoughtfully staggered throughout the day. During their free moments, they explore the Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, making the most of their time together.

Jan, a dedicated participant, has faithfully attended screenings at the Wesley Breast Clinic for an impressive 34 years. She fervently advocates for breast screening awareness within her community, emphasizing the significance of regular check-ups. Jan notes, "Because we do live so far away, we can put things off or ignore health issues we should have addressed a long time ago. Coming down as a group on the bus keeps us all accountable to each other. Over the past 34 years, I have seen women from our group diagnosed with breast cancer while being screened here. These women's lives were saved because they had their screening done. We are a tight-knit community, and we all support each other."

The Wesley Breast Clinic's Medical Lead, Michelle Delamont, warmly welcomes this group each year, acknowledging the unique energy they bring to the waiting room. She remarked, "It's so wonderful to see this group of women supporting one another and promoting the importance of breast screening."

The enduring commitment of the Murgon women to their annual breast screenings is a testament to the power of community, friendship, and health awareness. Their inspiring tradition serves as a reminder that together, we can achieve significant positive change.

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