How a charity luncheon helped fund a Central Coast cancer patient’s rehabilitation

Earlier this year, Dr Kelly Needham of Coastal Goddess hosted a charity luncheon to raise funds and awareness for gynaecological cancers. Kate Perkins, Cancer Rehabilitation and Lymphoedema OT, and director of Cancer Rehabilitation and Lymphatic Solutions, donated her expert services as a prize to be auctioned to raise funds for the event, to be donated to a Central Coast patient undergoing treatment for cancer. Dr Kelly consulted Courtney Clapham, Lymphoedema Physiotherapist at Gosford Hospital, to select the person who she thought would most benefit from Kate’s specialised cancer rehabilitation treatments using the cutting technology available at Coastal Rehab Hub.

“It has been wonderful to collaborate with Dr Kelly and Courtney, offering my services in this multidisciplinary way to assist in Katie’s recovery using the OncoLaser ™ technique developed here at Cancer Rehabilitation & Lymphatic Solutions.” – Kate Perkins


The patient

Katie Dwyer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2021 and underwent a skin-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. Katie experienced complications towards the end of radiotherapy treatment, causing the implant to fail and be removed. In the 12 months following radiotherapy, the tissue at the site of the mastectomy developed radiation fibrosis, causing the tissue to adhere to the chest wall and significantly restricting Katie’s shoulder range of movement to just shoulder height.


The prize

As part of the donated prize, Kate offered to assist Katie’s recovery using photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) using MLS Laser, the only one of its kind on the Central Coast. PBMT has a number of powerful cellular effects leads to enhanced tissue regeneration, increased lymphatic function, vasodilation of blood vessels, and effective analgesia accelerating wound healing. It is a non-invasive, drug free treatment technique backed by research.

“I cannot thank Kate enough for treating me after I suffered severe radiation scarring. I never thought I would be able to ever again get a good range of movement in my arm – but the time, effort and dedication Kate and my physio Courtney have put in has changed my life.

I don’t know where I would be without them on my recovery team.” – Katie Dwyer

Katie has since returned to surgery for a reconstruction and revision of radiation scar tissue. Kate Perkins is now assisting with the recovery post reconstruction surgery and rehabilitation of shoulder range of movement using the MLS Laser and other specialised techniques. Katie also continues to work with Courtney Clapham for physiotherapy treatment to regain shoulder function, and monitoring breast cancer related lymphoedema (BCRL) symptoms.


Central Coast: community collaboration

While the Central Coast encompasses over 1,600 square kilometres, it’s managed to maintain a tight-knit small town feel. The sort of place where everyone is a “friend of a friend”, and people are more than willing to roll up their sleeves and help others. This is why Kate jumped at the chance to donate her services as a prize for the Coastal Goddess charity luncheon, along with plenty of other generous local businesses.


“Through our fundraising, I am thrilled to be able to provide state-of-the-art treatment to someone who may not have ordinarily been able to access this treatment. Katie’s long-term outcomes have been improved dramatically through the skill and expertise of Kate Perkins at Coastal Rehab Hub.

It has been so great collaborating with Courtney and Kate. Courtney was instrumental in identifying a suitable patient, and Kate so kindly donated the MLS Laser treatments.” – Dr Kelly Needham


Can MSL Laser assist in my recovery?

MLS Laser Therapy helps to overcome the painful symptoms typical of musculoskeletal disorders, post operative inflammation, side effects of cancer related treatments and more so that patients can return to everyday activities faster.

Following current evidence based practices, Kate delivers photobiomodulation (PBM) therapy using the Multiwave Locked System (MLS) laser during radiation therapy to prevent Acute Radiation Dermatitis (ARD), and accelerate the healing process of the tissue post treatment.

Located in Erina, the Cancer Rehabilitation & Lymphatic Solutions team is here to help you to recover faster, stronger, and full of energy.

Contact us today to see how we can help you!