Bendigo Health

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Bendigo Health is a leading regional health service, with around 4500 staff and a catchment area covering a quarter of the size of Victoria.

Funds from our 2021 Dry July campaign will continuing to support Bendigo Health’s Cancer Centre Wellness Program and the range of programs on offer.

Bendigo Health’s Cancer Wellness Program along with the Gobbé Wellness Centre offer a place for patients to participate in wellness activities as well as a space where patients, carers or family members can retreat between or following treatment.

The Gobbé Wellness Centre is the new home of the Cancer Wellness Program, a purposed designed space for all patients needing to take time out in a quiet nurturing environment to reflect, relax and regroup.

Our dedicated Cancer Wellness Coordinator oversees the comprehensive timetable of activities through our Cancer Wellness Program, connecting our patients with a range of supportive services and complementary therapies such as oncology massage, yoga classes, music and art therapy, pet therapy and mindfulness sessions.

You can help by raising funds for Bendigo Health this Dry July so that we can continue to offer these valuable services to our local and regional patients.

The Cancer Wellness Program and Gobbé Wellness Centre would not be possible without ongoing donations and fundraising.

Latest Updates

By supporting Bendigo Health this Dry July, you're helping people like Kate.

Kate Walsh’s breast cancer diagnosis came 16 years ago in 2004, when she was just 29. Following intensive treatment, Kate describes herself as “free and clear” of the disease. That changed 11 years later when she was devastatingly re-diagnosed in 2015. This time her breast cancer has metastasized.

Together with her husband, Darren and two young children – Lexie, a nine year old daughter and seven year old Archie – Kate has been navigating COVID-19 and the impact the pandemic has on their daily lives.

Her breast cancer continues to be treated through regular oncology appointments and chemotherapy treatments at Bendigo Health, and Darren takes care of the shopping and other errands so that Kate can avoid public places and the increased risk of infection.

A Cancer Wellness program, funded by Dry July, has run yoga therapy sessions which Kate describes as “Awesome” and as something she can’t wait to return to once restrictions are eased “I am desperate to get back there, it is just so good for my mind and managing anxiety. Every day I wake up knowing that I have cancer. Yoga just helps to be able to manage that, especially in this current environment.” Kate said.

Bendigo Health’s Cancer Wellness Coordinator, Jenna Sing, - a position also funded through Dry July – has developed innovative ways to provide additional support to vulnerable cancer patients during the coronavirus pandemic. “In these unprecedented times we are looking at how we best support our patients,” Jenna said.

“Many have been able to mentally cope with their cancer diagnosis, but now face added stressors. One initiative we are implementing is delivering boxes of locally sourced fresh fruit and veggies to ease the stress of going to grocery store. I have received really lovely feedback from patients, like Kate, who have greatly appreciated this gesture.” added Jenna.

For Kate’s family the timing was perfect, “It was unbelievable. It was just what we needed at the time.” Said Kate.

Fresh fruit boxes to support our most vulnerable cancer patients

Thanks to funding received from Dry July, Bendigo Health’s Cancer Wellness Coordinator, Jenna Sing, together with the Fundraising & Foundation team have developed innovative ways to support the most vulnerable cancer patients amid the current pandemic.

Boxes of locally sourced fresh fruit and vegies are being delivered to the homes of cancer patients who are not able to access supermarkets, don’t have readily available local support networks or no longer have the financial means to afford fresh produce.

“In these unpreceded times we are looking at how we best support our patients. Many have been able to mentally cope with their cancer diagnosis, but now face added stressors when the primary breadwinner has lost their job and all or most of their income. Often there is also the extra pressure of having kids at home.” Jenna said.

Jenna is also providing a phone calling system to check on cancer patients. This provide an extension to the service already being undertaken by Bendigo Health’s social workers, who are struggling to keep up with the increased demand at this time.

In addition, Jenna’s recent focus has been on establishing online cancer wellness programs to support patients; including self-massage video tutorials, yoga classes and online mindfulness resources. Proudly, she has also recently adopted a black Labrador named Sharlee who Jenna describes as “an absolute legend in preparation for on-site pet therapy session in Bendigo Health’s Cancer Centre when things return to normal and the regular Cancer Wellness Program is ready to recommence.

Introducing Jenna Sing - Cancer Centre Wellness Coordinator

We are so excited announce that our newly appointed Cancer Centre Wellness Coordinator, Jenna Sing, began with Bendigo Health this week (w/c 19 January, 2020). Jenna is such a beautiful person, whose enthusiasm for supporting people dealing with cancer and her extensive experience in oncology are without doubt going to make her perfect for the role. Jenna has already developed a calendar of activities for patients and is looking at a range of new programs to implement. She has expressed her thanks to the Dry July participants for raising the funds to support her role and has offered some words below;

‘It is with great excitement that I begin my new role as the Cancer Wellness Co-Ordinator at Bendigo Health. After working within the oncology setting for many years, it’s a lovely transition to now be able to offer holistic care to cancer patients through funds raised by Dry July participants. The funding will go a long way in creating positive outcomes for our patients though the use of complementary therapies such as oncology massage, yoga classes, pet therapy and mindfulness sessions. I can’t thank Dry July Foundation enough for contributing enormously to the success of Bendigo Health’s Cancer Wellness Program and investing in its future‘. 

Additional funding for Wellness Program at Bendigo Health

We're pleased to announce that Bendigo Health has received an additional grant from the Dry July Foundation October grant round. to go towards the Wellness Program.

Wellness programs are paramount in cancer care to support both the physical and emotional and spiritual wellbeing of our patients. This additional grant will help expand the Wellness Program to incorporate a coordinator to act as a central point of contact to connect patients and determine the best therapies to support their care based on individual requirements. 

Dry July Wellness Program at Bendigo Health's Cancer Centre

Funds raised from Dry July 2019 will go towards a Wellness Program at Bendigo Health's Cancer Centre.

The new Wellness Program will incorporate oncology massage, cancer rehabilitation, yoga, meditation, music and pet therapy and, importantly, a coordinator to connect our patients to the services that best meets their physical and emotional needs.

More than a quarter of a million people in central Victoria rely on Bendigo Health when they need specialist treatment and care. Developing a Wellness Program will bring the Cancer Centre in line with other regional and metropolitan Cancer Centres and provide our patients with access to programs that will promote peer support and reduce some of the burden of the disease.

A Wellness Program provides evidenced based benefits which are provided in the safety of the cancer centre and knowledge of the treating clinicians. The cancer centre recently conducted a survey of our patients to better understand their preference for wellness programs.

The patients of the Bendigo Cancer Centre identified oncology massage, exercise and meditation as the top therapies that they would recommend to those diagnosed with cancer.

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