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Happy International Nurses Day!

“A nurse is not what you do. It is what you are…. I am a nurse. It’s not what I do, it’s what I am.”

This International Nurses Day on May 12th, we celebrate our nurses who work tirelessly and give sacrificially to make a difference in countless lives. Through the eyes of our own in-house nurse, we will take you on a journey to discover their heart and passion for those they relentlessly serve.

Mahes, Deputy Head of Community Outreach team and Nurse Navigator extraordinaire

Meet Mahes.

A nurse by training, Mahes always had an earnest desire to provide care and help to those in need. But what really drives Mahes is helping the disadvantaged. At Cancer Research Malaysia, she is living out her bold dream and putting her nursing expertise, knowledge and skills into practice to impact the lives of underprivileged breast cancer patients. Combining the art and heart of nursing, Mahes leads our Patient Navigation Programme (PNP). Together with her team of highly skilled and trained nurses, they support low-income patients through their cancer journey – assisting them with medical treatment and decisions, emotional support, financial aid, patient recovery, home care and basic palliative care.

It is a challenging vocation, one that requires not only the technical expertise of nursing, but a whole lot of heart, tenacity and commitment. Reflected in Mahes’ own words, it is a calling fueled by a deep sense of value for people:

“It isn’t only us helping patients, but we are also learning from them – their values of life, kindness, humility, and perseverance. When the situation looks impossible, we can work together to achieve the impossible. We have the opportunity to walk others through their cancer journey – to assure them they are not alone, they are not forgotten, and their lives are valuable.” 

Mahes’ heart for patients is echoed by her team of nurse navigators. Since 2015, Mahes and her team have collaborated closely with the Ministry of Health (MoH) to integrate the Patient Navigation Programme into healthcare systems to advance patient care. Today, we continue to work closely with 10 nurses from the Ministry of Health to navigate newly diagnosed breast cancer patients through the healthcare system, overcoming their barriers to cancer care and improve overall outcomes. Because of this partnership, we have raised up our very own Malaysian team of nurse navigators who have impacted more than 2300 women over the past 7 years at our centres in Klang, Seremban, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.

Many more patients could benefit from the service of committed nurse navigators, so we are on a mission to expand the Patient Navigation Programme beyond our 4 existing centres.  In the coming year, we are using a tele-learning programme called ECHO, to train and equip nurses and social workers with patient navigation skills. Our goal is to train an army of nurse navigators, equipping them to help many more low-income breast cancer patients. Your donations will help us get there faster and provide patients access to life-saving treatment much quicker. 

Together, we can achieve more: Toh Puan Aishah Ong, founding trustee of Cancer Research Malaysia with CRMY and MOH’s team of nurse navigators at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah’s Pink Ribbon Centre

As a non-profit organisation, every donation we receive is crucial to ensuring the fight against cancer doesn’t miss Asians, especially Malaysians. To our valued donors who generously support our work, thank you for the giving the gift of hope. If you are new to our work, we’d like to invite you to join us on this life changing journey. Together, we will accomplish so much more.

To make a first-time donation or renew your gift:

Every woman matters, every life counts. At Cancer Research Malaysia, we believe every cancer patient deserves an equal right to be a survivor and no one should battle cancer alone.

During the Covid-19 pandemic from 2020-2021, our nurse and community navigators walked alongside over 1400 women across 4 state hospitals. With your help, we will continue the hard and heart work to bridge the survival gap for many more breast cancer patients and save lives.


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