Barwon Health's Andrew Love Cancer Centre, Geelong

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Funds raised through Dry July 2021 will help improve the patient experience for people undergoing cancer treatment at Barwon Health’s Andrew Love Cancer Centre.

Barwon Health’s Cancer Services provides world class treatment options including radiotherapy treatment, chemotherapy, apheresis unit/stem cell collection, transplant clinic and haematology services. We have a dedicated cancer inpatient ward at University Hospital Geelong, and a range of complementary services such as clinical trials and pharmacy at the Andrew Love Cancer Centre allowing us to offer patients the very best treatments available.
This year, with your help we’re fundraising for comfort and care therapies and equipment across Barwon Health Cancer Services. The therapies include exercise therapy and art therapy which will provide patients having treatment at University Hospital Geelong with physical, mental and emotional health benefits.

Dry July has made a big difference on patients receiving care at the Andrew Love Cancer Centre. Funds from Dry July 2020 have provided a refurbishment of the accommodation and garden area at Ba-Lee Lodges which provide essential accommodation for patients based in regional areas.

The Ba-Lee Lodge complex comprises of five self-contained units, a communal laundry and al fresco area. These units were originally donated following the Bali bombing disaster by the Lee Family in memory of their children. Funding from Dry July will help to repaint, recarpet and refurnish to help create a home away from home. Cancer patients from the Barwon South West Region who are attending Andrew Love Cancer Centre and University Hospital Geelong for consultation, treatment, surgery or recovery can use this accommodation during treatment.

Funds raised through Dry July 2021 will help provide support to vital programs and activities at Barwon Health’s Andrew Love Cancer Centre Wellness Lounge. The Wellness Lounge incorporates wellness components and provides a range of therapies for patients as well as lifestyle and survivorship programs. The therapies provided combine with allied health services such as social work, psychology and pastoral care support.

Every year, Barwon Health cares for and treats over 20,000 individual cancer patients from the Geelong and Western Victoria region, with 2,400 of these being new cancer patients. For more information about Barwon Health Cancer Services, please visit

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By signing up for Dry July and raising funds for Andrew Love Cancer Centre, you'll be helping people like Steve when they need it most

Steve Morgan woke from an 11 hour surgery to remove his oesophageal cancer to discover his wife Sophie had given birth to their newborn daughter just down the hallway.

In the maternity wing of University Hospital Geelong arrived Georgie, two weeks early and a ray of sunshine during a challenging time. 

“The nurses from the maternity ward arranged for Sophie and Georgie to visit me in ICU at about 11.30pm and we were able to have a cuddle and photos,” says Steve. “Apparently having a newborn visit their dad in ICU was a hospital first.”

The Highton dad’s cancer journey began with severe stomach pains in August 2019.

The discomfort came out of nowhere, persisted for a few days and steadily got worse. 

He went to emergency twice and eventually had an exploratory gastroscopy.

The following afternoon he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. 

“As a healthy 38 year old non-smoker and limited drinker with previous good health this was obviously a big shock,” he says. 

“Interestingly the doctor could not find a link between my stomach pain and the cancer. It seems it was an incidental finding which likely saved my life - a good lesson to always get checked out by a doctor when you are sick, and keep going back if you don’t get better.”

Thankfully, Steve’s cancer was in the early stages but he still required a major surgery to remove the cancerous area along with a large portion of his oesophagus and some of his stomach which was scheduled for two weeks later. 

An infection and subsequent complications saw an expected two week hospital stay extend to two months followed by Hospital in the Home care. 

Now, he is cancer free, back at work, exercising well, managing fatigue and food better each month.

“Most importantly, I’m playing with Georgie and Emilia just like a normal dad,” he says. 

Steve is under no illusions that the care he received at Barwon Health gave him that gift which is why this year, he has signed on as a Dry July ambassador.

“The fact that I could have major surgery, access to quality intensive care and the availability of the Andrew Love Cancer Centre just 10 minutes from home can’t be underestimated,” he says. 

“Cancer touches everyone in some way so being involved or donating to Dry July will have a positive impact on everyone at some stage of their lives, whether it be themselves or a loved one. 

“I can’t think of anything more important than improving local care for those experiencing serious health issues and would encourage everyone to fundraise or donate their time or money in any way they can.”

Sign up at and select Andrew Love Cancer Centre to ensure funds raised support your local health service. Head here to read Steve's full story: 

Fresh refurbishments to Andrew Love Cancer Centre's Ba-Lee lodges made possible thanks to Dry July fundraising!

Thanks to the Dry July Foundation and participants of Dry July in 2019 and 2020, the Ba-Lee Lodge have had a refurbishment, including garden and accommodation rooms.

The majority of the project has been completed with just a few finishing touches like artwork and custom seating yet to be installed, although that hasn't stopped patients who are back enjoying the refurbished space.

The Ba-Lee lodges have been a valued and much loved part of the Andrew Love Cancer Centre for over 15 years. This very important facility provides vital accommodation to Barwon Health’s Andrew Love Cancer Centre patients during their treatment. The impact of a cancer diagnosis is significant in the lives of these patients and their families and units provide a home away from home for regional patients who otherwise would face expensive travel and accommodation costs to attend the Andrew Love Cancer Centre.

The units provide the comforts of home with fully self-contained facilities and Barwon Health’s accommodation and domestic teams work with the patients to ensure their stay is as trouble free as possible.

After many nights of occupancy over the years, the units have benefited greatly from this update and will provide comfort to many more future patients.

Dry July funds enable an upgrade to the Andrew Love Cancer Centre's programs and facilities

Your fundraising for Dry July has enabled the Andrew Love Cancer Centre to purchase items and run Wellness Programs and activities such as exercise therapy, art therapy, oncology massage, and yoga.

They are especially excited to be able to upgrade the Ba-Lee Lodge garden area within the accommodation facility for cancer patients. This will provide a calming, outdoor space for patients and their families who have travelled to Geelong, usually from afar, for cancer treatment.

“The Ba-Lee lodges have been a valued and much loved part of the Andrew Love Cancer Centre for over 15 years. We are extremely lucky to have such a facility to support our patients during their treatment. The impact of a cancer diagnosis is significant in the lives of our patients. These units allow us to provide a home away from home for regional patients who otherwise would face expensive travel and accommodation costs to attend ALCC for their treatment. The units provide the comforts of home with fully self-contained facilities and our accommodation and domestic teams work with the patients to ensure their stay is as trouble free as possible. After many nights of occupancy over the years, the units will benefit greatly from an update both internally and outside in the garden.

We are very grateful for the support from the Dry July participants and Dry July Foundation to help us achieve this and we look forward to proudly launching the Ba-Lee Lodge with a modern and fresh garden for our patients to enjoy. Further to this, having the wellness programs continue will also have a huge impact on improving the wellbeing of our patients during treatment”.

– Michele Shields, Operations Manager, Andrew Love Cancer Centre.

Clinical Nurse Specialist, Katie, shares her story.

My name is Katie, and I am a clinical nurse specialist at the Andrew Love Cancer Centre. I live In Ocean Grove with my husband and 3 boys. Life is busy but love life near the beach. I have worked at the centre for 16 years and I am a small part of a fantastic dedicated team. My role is to provide patients with not only their chemotherapy but ongoing support and education to patients and their families during this challenging and stressful time.

The best part of my job is getting to know patients and their families and share stories. You really become part of their lives and they do in ours. We support patients from diagnosis and treatment and help them work through side effects and uncertainties caused by their cancer. We are very lucky to have a beautifully new renovated Day ward supported by Dry July and the Barwon Health Foundation that provides a calm environment and we strive to make a very difficult time that little bit easier. Our patients are amazing the way they just get on with their treatment, while juggling work, family life and life’s general busy-ness.

I have signed up to do Dry July. I have been involved with dry July for 8 years. The reason I support and sign up for Dry July every year is I see every day the fantastic benefits that it provides to improve patients experience in the Andrew love Centre.

Dry July has supported so many programs in the wellness lounge such as the massage therapy , yoga & art program, the patient entertainment systems. These programs couldn’t run without the funding from Dry July and they are so important to help support our patients. So if you can jump on board and sign up today!

I love catching up my friends over a wine or too but just not in July. My family and friends are great supporters of my dry July camping and they know it’s coming. So thank you for all your support and I am proud to be a dry July ambassador.

By going Dry this July, you’re helping people like Maddison

I’m a 32 year old Travel Agent and have lived in Geelong my whole life. I’m the youngest of 5 children (2 brothers and 2 sisters) and could not live without my legend of a mum! I’m currently living with mum, who has been my absolute rock throughout everything, running around after me with my appointments and treatment.

My 2 main passions in life are Dance and P!nk. I’ve been dancing for more than 20 years now and love everything about it. It’s such a great release and an escape from everything else going on in the world. I’ve performed most styles including jazz, contemporary, hip hop, Latin and commercial and taught all ages from 3 year olds through to 60 year olds. 

In March this year I was diagnosed with Acute T-cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. I originally began feeling unwell in December with tightness in the chest, but just brushed it off as being a little run down due to the silly season. Over the next week or so the chest pain worsened, I developed a cough and began having trouble breathing with even the smallest amount of exercise. I went to the GP and was given some antibiotics, which didn’t really do much to help. 

After getting home from my trip, I headed back to the GP and was given more antibiotics which still didn’t work. After 3 or 4 Doctors visits and misdiagnosis, I went to a different GP for a second opinion. He sent me for a chest X-ray and after seeing the results sent me straight to Hospital for a CT scan. I was admitted that day and was in there for the following 2 weeks for every test under the sun. After finally being given my diagnosis, I think the biggest feeling was that of relief. 

I was originally admitted back into hospital, to begin my 4 week Induction to chemo, so they could keep an eye on any side effects or reactions. After 2 days I was told I could leave and continue the rest of my treatment through the Dayward, as my body was taking it well. I had treatment every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the first 4 weeks, then had a follow up PET scan which had really great results. 

All of the nurses and staff at Andrew Love Cancer Centre and University Hospital Geelong have been so welcoming and accommodating, I couldn’t ask for more! They’re always up for a chat and even put up with my endless P!nk stories! 

I’m also super lucky to have an amazing support network of friends and family behind me to help me through my journey. I’m feeling really positive about the future and what’s to come and I really believe I can beat this. 

Read Maddison’s full story here: