Sisters Stephanie and Zoe Demkiw cofounded Australia’s first bladder cancer advocacy group in 2014, Bladder Cancer Awareness Australia (BCA), after their father Michael passed away from aggressive and advanced metastatic bladder cancer at a young age. He had no risk factors. He was initially given the all clear after a cystectomy (radical removal of the bladder), but 18 months later had severe, widespread disease. Together the Demkiw family faced the diagnosis, the ‘cure’, the recurrence, the palliation and ultimately the grief of his loss.
Until that time there were no patient groups or charities dedicated to bladder cancer in Australia. After speaking with representatives at BCAN and Fight Bladder Cancer, the Demkiw family decided they would self-fund and run Australia’s first charity, out of frustration at the lack of emotional, educational or financial supports for those suffering with bladder cancer throughout Australia.
At BCA we support the most vulnerable bladder cancer patients, those with social or financial hardship or terminal disease. In addition to awareness campaigns, primarily the money raised from our various fundraising initiatives and events over the years has financially supported terminal patients and their families, allowing them to tick items off their 'bucket list', while they are still well enough to do so.
Do you know a patient or loved one with bladder cancer in need of biopsychosocial or financial support?
We are here to help. Nothing is too big or small.
We are here for you. Not for the doctors, not for the scientists, not for the academics, but for you ~ the patients and families.
For every hundred people who learn about bladder cancer, maybe one or two will present early and have a treatable form of the disease.
For those found late, there are many ways to give you the best quality of life and to live out the life you want. We are here for you.