What we do
Treasure Chest Inc is a registered independent, not-for-profit organisation based in Melbourne Victoria.
Our organisation is
Run entirely with voluntary help. See Our People
All the funds we raise go to assist The Royal Women’s Hospital and The Royal Melbourne Hospital to increase their capacity for breast reconstruction services. Currently, a woman in the public health system who has her breasts removed because she has cancer or has a genetic risk of developing breast cancer has a considerable wait until she can have a breast reconstruction. Breast reconstruction in the public health system has to compete with many other demands on the system.
Our mission at Treasure Chest Inc. is to raise funds to improve access to breast reconstruction, the services offered and increase capacity in the Shared Breast Service of the Royal Women’s and Royal Melbourne Hospitals. Toward this outcome Treasure Chest Inc. is working with Professor Bruce Mann, a specialist Breast Surgeon who is the Director of Shared Breast Service, Mr Dean Trotter Head of Breast Plastic Surgery at the Royal Women's Hospital and Assoc Professor Mark Ashton Head of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at The Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Treasure Chest Inc was founded in 2006 by Pratika Lal, a woman who has undergone breast cancer twice and continues to undergo treatment. During the time she met a lot of women struggling with long wait times to complete their treatments, enduring hardships, confused over information, support and how to find it, losing hair and all the other indignities and struggles that come with diseases such as breast cancer. Pratika founded the charity Treasure Chest Inc. raising funds to support The Royal Women’s and Royal Melbourne Hospitals Shared Breast Services to reduce the lengthy wait lists for this surgery and provide associated services to the patients they look after in the public health system.
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Pratika Lal, founder and Chair of charity Treasure Chest Inc, April 8, 2016
You are a breast cancer survivor. How has breast cancer affected you?
Cancer has changed how I see life but I won’t let it define me. I have learnt to appreciate more and I firmly believe that I have twice survived cancer because God had another plan for me, and that was to keep going on the various things I have started and need to finish. Treasure Chest is one of those things I want to leave behind with a sense of achievement, and that we as a bunch of amazing women have started something to improve the lives of many women coming behind us. (Above: Jyotika, Latika, Radhika & Pratika L-R)
I think I am living my life better since I got cancer but it does shake your very being – it made me see who really means something to me. You tend to strip yourself of all the hangers-on and see who really has substance. I’ve never been one to mince my words however before my diagnosis I had a filter of sorts, now honestly I don’t have one anymore and if I’ve offended people over the last 10-12 years so be it. Maybe, just maybe, what I have said may change how the people I’ve offended see life.
You realise suddenly that you are in fact breakable and I have never known fear like I have the first time I was diagnosed with cancer, then when I really thought I had nailed the disease it clipped my wings again but I am learning to fly again. Will I be able to stand up and fight another fight if I have to – I bloody well hope so…
How has cancer changed your life? Where were you and where are you now?
Oh my goodness – my life has most certainly changed dramatically. I find it harder to fall into relationships because I fought so hard to live I don’t want to take second best (so a person really needs to shake my core) –in anything really. At the time I was getting so comfortable in my skin – I had an amazing job, I was comfortable financially and I was just settling into this amazing life when I got whammied with Breast Cancer (BC) and after a long time getting it together and just settling in it whammied me for the second time. So from this latter experience I conclude I am not meant to just “settle” anymore…
Treasure Chest Inc.
ABN: 62 215 856 279
Registered Office: 1/1031 High St Armadale 3143
Treasure Chest Inc is endorsed as a deductible gift recipient under Subdivision 30-BA of the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.