Barwon Health's Andrew Love Cancer Centre, Geelong

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$141,943.28 raised

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Funds raised through Dry July 2020 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 2019 have provided a refurbishment of the accommodation 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 2020 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

Latest Updates

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: 

Barwon Health receives additional grant from Dry July Foundation

We're pleased to announce that Barwon Health has received an additional grant from the Dry July Foundation October grant round.

This grant will enable further upgrades to the Ba-Lee Lodge Patient Accommodation self-contained units.

Ba-Lee Lodge consists of one two-bedroom unit and four one-bedroom units. These units are now 17 years old and in desperate need of refurbishment with new carpet and paint.

Dry July 2019 funds support Wellness Lounge Programs and Patient Comfort Items

Dry July Foundation is proud to support Barwon Health's Andrew Love Cancer Centre (ALCC) with funds raised from Dry July 2019.

This includes the continuation of the Wellness Lounge Programs, such as Art Therapy and Exercise Therapy.

Art therapy allows patients to benefit from the emotional outlet of art. The art is something positive for bedridden patients to focus on and allows them to step outside the clinical aspect of hospital admissions. Outpatient art therapy provides a social and expressive distraction therapy for cancer patients and their carers while dealing with the impact of this disease  

Exercise therapy is supported by the clinicians and is in line with current research into best practice cancer care. Patients are encouraged to engage in physical activity as soon as possible following diagnosis with programs tailored to the individual’s ability. Providing this service during in-patient stays sets the benchmark for ongoing activity throughout the cancer experience. Improvements reported by COSA include decreased severity of treatment side-effects, decreased cancer related fatigue and psychological distress.

2019 Dry July funds will also go towards Patient comfort items. This may includes iPads for entertainment while waiting, comfortable furniture, blankets, cushions, music performances, headphones for quiet contemplation, support events for patients in our accommodation units, new wig library items, morning teas, vegie garden bed refresh, mindfulness activities, hand and foot massage oils and complementary therapy events.

Feedback from patients at ALCC indicates the value of “stopping” in the Wellness Lounge. This can be for long waits for the doctor or treatment or to regroup and recover before driving home. Patients often drop in for no reason other than to absorb the quiet and reflective environment. Providing these extra touches will improve that experience with the best we can offer in terms of time out, distraction and engagement.

The wellness lounge activity is not government funded and relies on donors and Dry July Foundation to ensure these vital programs go ahead.

The Andrew Love Cancer Centre Wellness Lounge was officially opened on 5 March. Pictured: The Hon Sarah Henderson MP unveils a plaque to open the Andrew Love Cancer Centre Wellness Lounge with Christine Corby and Phil Stammers.