You are currently on the St John of God Foundation website. Go to St John of God Health Care

A Gift of Hope is a gift of financial support provided to people with life-threatening conditions such as cancer. For patients who might be struggling to afford the best treatment for their cancer, a donor-funded Gift of Hope can be life-changing.

In late 2021, Judith Foster, a mother and grandmother who had dedicated nearly 40 years to a career as a nurse and midwife, found herself facing a lung cancer diagnosis – despite never having smoked in her life.

“I think I just felt like the whole world was falling apart,” says Judith of receiving her diagnosis.

“I suddenly thought, I’m not going to be around for my son. I need to be here for my family – and for my patients. It’s a really awful time, I just wanted to be well, to be working.”

When Judith’s initial medication stopped working, St John of God Subiaco Hospital Oncologist, Adjunct Associate Professor Tim Clay, suggested a new diagnostic test.

The special molecular test, which would look closely at tumour DNA, would enable Tim to determine the best treatment for Judith’s cancer. Unfortunately, as is often the case with new cancer treatments and tests, the molecular test was not covered under Medicare or private health insurance.

This is where a Gift of Hope came in. Tim had seen firsthand how a Gift of Hope could help patients like Judith to access treatments that might otherwise be out of reach, bringing hope when patients may have exhausted all other treatment options.

“Without a Gift of Hope, Judith may not have been able to access molecular testing,” he said.

“This testing allowed us then to apply for and receive compassionate access to a therapy that is not funded in Australia via compassionate means from a major pharmaceutical company.”

“She has just had her first assessment to show her new treatment is working.”

Judith says the testing, and subsequent treatment, has been life-changing.

“I have a new lease on life, and the turning point was the Gift of Hope,” she says.

“I’m so thankful, I’ve almost got a normal life now and I’m spending time with my family – which I didn’t think I would have. I saw my son get married, I have a new daughter-in-law, and a beautiful grandson."

“Now that I’m not working, I babysit two or three times a week, and I probably would not have had that. So I’m very lucky.”

Judith said she felt extremely grateful to Tim for ‘being on the ball’ and advocating for her treatment, but also to the donors like you who made the Gift of Hope possible.

“Saying thanks is not really enough,” Judith said.

“They are very generous, caring people – and I hope they know that they are making a big difference to people like me. I’m really grateful.”

You can support a Gift of Hope by visiting or call us on 1800 281 288.


Pictured (banner): Judith (left) with her son and daughter-in-law at their wedding. 

Your gift can change a life.