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Barwon Health's Andrew Love Cancer Centre, Geelong

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$84,537.96 raised

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Funds raised through Dry July 2019 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 which will provide patients having treatment at University Hospital Geelong with physical, mental and emotional health benefits.

Dry July has also made a big difference to the ProjectLove Chemotherapy Day Ward and Pharmacy redevelopment. Thanks to Dry July participants Patients will have access to the latest technology to watch TV, play games, listen to the radio, order food, send emails and surf the internet via a brand new state-of-the-art ‘Siemens HiMed Cockpit Bedside Solution'. The system also has the capability to allow for video conferencing so that patients can communicate with doctors in a major city whilst having treatment providing 'real-time' discussions with their clinician. An integrated webcam even makes it possible for friends and relatives to pay a virtual visit to the hospital. The portal can also host education and information content put together by the Cancer Centre to educate patients about their treatment and illness.

Funds raised through Dry July will also 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 www.barwonhealth.org.au/cancer-services/

Latest Updates

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.

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Dry July Foundation helps fund Ba-Lee Lodge renovation

Thanks to funds raised through Dry July 2019, the Dry July Foundation has been able to fund the partial renovation of the Ba-Lee Lodge.

Ba-Lee Lodge complex comprises 5 self-contained accommodation units, a communal laundry and al fresco area. These units were donated following the Bali bombing disaster by the Lee family. They are now approximately 17 years old and desperately need a refurbishment.

Creating a home away from home is the aim of these units. Cancer Patients from the Barwon South Western region who are attending Andrew Love Cancer Centre (ALCC) and University Hospital Geelong (UHG) for consultation, treatment, surgery or recovery may need accommodation for anywhere from one night to several months.

Many patients return to accommodation regularly for maintenance therapy. Knowing that they have a comfortable room and a bed for the night helps then deal with the rigours of treatment, travel and being away from family and friends.

Feedback from patients on the amenity is positive, however the units are in need of updating to ensure safe and comfortable accommodation is provided to meet their needs during this stressful period. This will make a big difference to regional patients who need this space. 

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A Patient Story - Alice

Two days before Alice’s wedding day, she found a lump on her breast. After her wedding, she sought multiple doctor’s opinions. In the 3-4 weeks waiting for her appointment, her and her husband were delighted to find out they were pregnant.

Alice was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the doctor strongly advised Alice and her husband, Danu, that they terminate the pregnancy.

Alice travelled from where they were living in Indonesia back to Australia for her treatment.

“The day after landing back into Australia, I embarked on what has now been nine months of treatment; cared for, treated by, cried to, and laughed with a formidable medical team at Barwon Health’s Andrew Love Cancer Centre.” – Alice

Further tests by her surgeon and oncologist confirmed she had a form of cancer called triple negative, however the gestation of her pregnancy was advanced enough to be deemed safe for general anesthetic surgery. After this, the fetus was developed enough post first trimester to endure chemotherapy.

“I remember my oncologist saying with a smile on her face, ‘We can do this!’. As so we were doing this with the pregnancy!”

Alice was responding well to her treatment and on her 36th week of pregnancy, she sat her 10th and final chemotherapy treatment. As usual, at the end of her session she had to run to the bathroom as she’d been pumped so full of fluid over the space of a few hours. Though when it kept happening for a few hours, she called her midwife because she wasn’t sure if she’d just had a failed bladder or if her waters had broken.

“Fourteen hours later, at 8.37am on Tuesday 12 February, my first-born son was born by natural birth. Miraculously, he was strong and chemo free.”

“We had 7 glorious weeks of freedom – my husband and I – with our newborn to adjust to our new family dynamic. I was even successfully able to breastfeed, and I loved it. But we couldn’t lose momentum of the treatment we had completed to date. There was more to do, in effort to provide me the best opportunity for a long life ahead without any secondary recurrence of cancer. So, at the beginning of April, I had a mastectomy of my right breast.”

Alice’s surgery went well, and she has almost finished her treatment.

By supporting Barwon Health this Dry July, you are raising funds for the redevelopment of the Andrew Love Cancer Centre.



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Barwon Health's Andrew Love Cancer Centre receives a grant from the Dry July Foundation

We're proud to announce that Barwon Health's Andrew Love Cancer Centre has received a grant from the Dry July Foundation 2018 Grant Program.

The grant will go towards the following: 

• Therapy Programs including exercise therapy, a nutrition program and oncology massage

• Patient Bedside Entertainment System, to ensure the patient has access to the latest technology to watch TV, play games, listen to the radio, order food, send emails, surf the internet and video conference with doctors if needed


2018 funds provide sixteen state-of-the-art Entertainment Systems

The Andrew Love Cancer Centre Chemo Day Ward is currently undergoing a huge redevelopment; a project that has been 100% funded by the community through fundraising and donations. With no extra funds to replace the old TV's that patients use while having chemo in their chairs, Barwon Health were going to put the old TV's back in the Centre once the redevelopment was finished.

Instead, funds raised by supporters of Barwon Health Andrew Love Cancer Centre, plus an early grant from The Dry July Foundation Victoria and a generous donation by Rauland Australia, will be used to purchase a state-of-the-art entertainment system. Each of the 16 chemo stations within the new Cancer Centre will be kitted out with the 'Siemens HiMed Cockpit Bedside Solution'  

Patients will have access to the latest technology to watch TV, play games, listen to the radio, order food, send emails and surf the internet. The system also has the capability to allow for video conferencing so that patients can communicate with doctors in a major city whilst having treatment providing 'real-time' discussions with their clinician. An integrated webcam even makes it possible for friends and relatives to pay a virtual visit to the hospital. The portal can also host education and information content put together by the Cancer Centre to educate patients about their treatment and illness.  

A valuable addition to the refurbished Dayward and one which will certainly make treatment a little bit more bearable. 

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