Think Pink and Cyclotek – Trip to The Living Centre

Posted on: 10 July 2024Company,Latest News

On June 26th, Andrea Santamaria graciously organized and invited a group of 16 women from the Cyclotek team to The Think Pink Living Centre to meet with its Founders, Irene and David Hendel. The afternoon featured inspiring educational discussions about breast cancer and highlighted Irene and David’s remarkable journey in establishing The Living Centre, a sanctuary that serves as a beacon of hope for those navigating the breast cancer journey.

Cyclotek attendees at The Living Centre

The Living Centre includes a dedicated group of volunteers, professional therapists and facilitators who provide a range of services dealing with practical issues. Throughout the day, the Cyclotek team agreed that we currently focus significant attention and resources to radiopharmaceutical manufacturing and therefore, our experience at The Living Centre elevated our understanding of the invaluable support provided to both women and men with breast cancer. The team are now dedicated to sharing this invaluable resource with others who may benefit from it.

Since it first opened in 2010, all the support services at The Living Centre have been provided free of charge. One aspect that resonated deeply with many of us was the wig salon, providing professionally fitted wigs and counselling to those facing financial hardship during treatment. Irene, a two-time breast cancer survivor who was first diagnosed in 1997 and again in 2003, shared her personal story. In 2000, Irene joined the Think Pink Committee which at that time, worked with and donated funds to The Cancer Council of Victoria. In 2006, she and David established the Think Pink Foundation as an independent Charity which she subsequently chaired for over a decade. In 2010, motivated by her personal experiences, Irene founded The Living Centre, a sanctuary dedicated to providing emotional, practical, and physical support free of charge to individuals and families affected by breast cancer.

Irene (left) and David (right) Hendel, founders of The Living Centre

David, Irene’s husband, who was also a Founding Director, brings to the Board his administrative skills and the perspective of a caregiver and partner to a breast cancer patient. David has also performed all the high-level administration for the Foundation pro-bono since its inception in 2006. Together, Irene and David established unique programs such as ‘Supporting Blokes,’ a support group for the male partners of women affected by breast cancer. We also had the privilege of meeting the Living Centre’s dynamic team of two Jamie Kelly (Breast Care Nurse Consultant) and Natalie Sova (Office Manager), both of whom David and Irene credit highly for the current growth of the centre and whom they describe as “family”.

Jamie Kelly (right), Breast Care Nurse Consultant and Natalie Sova (left), The Living Centre Office Manager, pictured with Zainab Al-Hameedawi (middle), Cyclotek Production Chemist

In November 2019, 18F-FDG was added to the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) for diagnosing Stage III breast cancer or evaluating suspected recurrent or metastatic breast cancer. Since these codes were added to the MBS, over 77,000 scans have been performed via the MBS. Globally, the use of radiopharmaceuticals is extending into multiple different types of cancer where personalized medicine and molecular imaging shows great promise to improve patient outcomes.

During our visit to The Living Centre, Irene shared how Andrea and Greg Santamaria have been supporting and funding their cause since the beginning. In March 2020, Cyclotek initiated the Direct-Action Donation Fund (DADf), a donation of $15,000 per year to The Think Pink Foundation for three years. This further contributes to the variety of advanced programs at the Living Centre.

Andrea Santamaria (left), Irene Hendel (right)

The visit to The Living Centre was truly an uplifting experience for the Cyclotek team. The day enhanced everyone’s understanding of the psychological impacts of breast cancer both for those suffering and also those affected such as partners and family members. The afternoon visit provided an educational and valuable experience that will be remembered fondly. Thank you, Andrea, Irene, and David, for allowing us to share your experience and the collaborative work you have undertaken with so many supporters and volunteers of the Think Pink Living Centre.

The Cyclotek Team

Samuel Graf, Cyclotek’s Innovation and Partnerships Manager, stated, ‘This initiative is a great example of Cyclotek’s core industry advocacy strategy, which aims to educate our staff and elevate their awareness of the profound impact of a cancer patient journey.”



For further information, please contact:

Greg Santamaria


Cyclotek (Australia)



[contact-form-7 id=”714″ title=”Update Form”]