Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital

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David Stani
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Fundraising For

Funds raised this Dry July will help fund equipment, programs and refurbishments

About Us

Calvary Mater Newcastle is the major cancer care centre for Hunter New England Local Health District, delivering more than 485,000 occasions of outpatient services and in excess of 17,000 inpatient treatments per year.

We provide a comprehensive range of cancer services, diagnosis and treatment including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplants and surgery.

As the region’s tertiary referral cancer hospital, we treat a lot of patients who travel a great distance to have their treatment. Calvary Mater Newcastle is recognised as a leading research centre. It is also the main centre for cancer clinical trials in the Hunter region, with local, national and international research collaborations taking place.

By raising funds for Dry July and choosing to support Calvary Mater Newcastle, you are helping fund projects for our oncology services that directly benefit and assist in the comfort and care of our patients and their families.

The projects and equipment funded in 2023, included:

- Two chemotherapy treatment chairs for the Day Treatment Centre
- Post-operative surgical bras for women undergoing surgery for breast cancer and breast reconstructive surgery
- Enhance and update equipment in the Occupational Therapy Oncology Equipment Loan Program.

By supporting us in 2024, we hope to improve the patient experience for those being treated within our outpatient services.

Thank you for choosing to support Calvary Mater Newcastle.

Latest Updates

Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital projects and equipment upgrades made possible by Dry July 2023 fundraising

The funds will help Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital purchase new chemotherapy treatment chairs, post-operative bras for women undergoing surgery for breast cancer, and enhanced and updated equipment for the Occupational Therapy Oncology Equipment Loan Program.

The upgrades and services directly benefit and assist in the comfort and care of the patients and their families.

Patients showing visible and enthusiastic relief thanks to your 2022 Dry July funds

The Occupational Therapy (OT) Department continues to provide a valuable and free Oncology Loan Pool service to all patients receiving oncology or haematology treatment at Calvary Mater Newcastle.

In 2022, the Oncology Loan Pool was able to assist 332 people living with cancer thanks to the generous support of Dry July funding.

The department’s extensive loan pool includes nearly 900 items and has expanded its range to include over 90 different styles. Having these items gives OT staff the opportunity to trial equipment to find the most comfortable and appropriate way to support patients’ independence, avoiding delays and costly home modifications. 

Donna Waldron, Occupational Therapy Technical Assistant, says, “Our patients are consistently very grateful for the provision of equipment from the Oncology Loan Pool to assist in their discharge home or support them to remain at home. They are also pleasantly surprised we are able to offer this as a free service, with the contributions we have received from Dry July funding. Undergoing treatment and recovery from cancer can be a financially challenging time, and having access to the free Oncology Loan Pool assists in alleviating some of this burden.

Donna continues, “In Radiation Oncology outpatients it is almost weekly that you get to witness the visible and enthusiastic relief that patients feel when provided with pressure care and comfort equipment, particularly to off-load tender and vulnerable treatment areas. Many patients report that it has allowed them to more comfortably manage the trip to treatment.”

One such patient that has been provided with a range of Oncology Loan Pool equipment, including a wheelchair and pressure reducing cushion, comments, “I am using quite a few bits and it has all been very useful. The equipment makes it easier and helps make things more accessible. I think this is a very good thing to have for people to access.”

Another patient who is over the moon about their Oncology Loan Pool items said, “The cushion is bloody marvellous, I haven’t been comfortable for months and I’d tried everything. I use it to sit and can also get comfortable in bed now. It’s amazing.” 

Your Dry July fundraising is helping Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital fund projects and equipment for people affected by cancer

Thank you for taking on the Dry July challenge and supporting Calvary Mater Newcastle this year. We are delighted to announce that with your help Calvary Mater Newcastle raised an astounding $27,113.

We are beyond grateful for your fundraising efforts and dedication. By taking part in Dry July, you’ve enabled the hospital to fund projects and equipment that assist our patients, their families and carers, toward a more comfortable experience during and following their cancer treatment. 

Your fundraising for Dry July this year has enabled Calvary Mater Newcastle to purchase

• New assistive equipment and pressure care items for the hospital’s Oncology Loan Pool Equipment. The Oncology Loan Pool provides free short term loan equipment to assist patients when they are discharged home or supports them to remain at home while receiving cancer treatment. These specialised equipment items are aimed at maximising a patient’s independence and safety, reduce the impact of symptoms (e.g. pain, breathlessness, pressure injuries), assist with supporting carers with fulfilling their carer role safely and enable patient’s to remain at home for as long as possible. Undergoing treatment and recovery from cancer can be a financially challenging time, and having access to the free Oncology Loan Pool assists in alleviating some of this burden.

• Five new adjustable high-level chairs for the Medical Centre Waiting Room.

As you can see, this funding will allow us to update and enhance a wide variety of equipment that will help make our patient’s more comfortable. The impact your dedication and generosity has had by participating in Dry July cannot be underestimated.

On behalf of all the patients and staff at Calvary Mater Newcastle, we would like to thank you for your support and contribution to making a positive difference in the lives of people living with cancer.

Serena's Story

Many patients requiring chemotherapy spend numerous hours in hospital receiving treatment, one such person is Serena Williams who has so far received 35 rounds of chemotherapy.

Serena has been battling bowel and liver cancer since 2020. A mum to two daughters and grandmother to baby Finley, Serena was given the devastating news by her doctor that she had terminal cancer, and that she probably had a month to live.

Serena said, “I’ve been a fighter and a hard worker all of my life, so I told my doctor a month didn’t suit me at all. As a single mother I have worked so hard for so long that I haven’t really had time to smell the roses! I was determined to survive a lot longer than that.¬”

The close bond Serena has with her daughters was all the more reason for this brave lady to do whatever she could to spend more time with her family. With her “fighting spirit” and what she describes as a “selfish attitude”, Serena was determined to prove her doctors wrong. It has paid off as Serena said, “My doctors are in awe of my current condition. They classify me as stable and my cancer hasn’t spread further.”

To alleviate time spent in hospital, Serena has had a catheter inserted into her arm and can now receive her treatment via a device known as a CADD pump. The CADD pump delivers chemotherapy at a controlled dose and rate, allowing Serena to receive her treatment in the comfort of her own home if she wishes.

Marissa Ledlin, Day Treatment Centre Nurse Unit Manager, said, “Staff and patients in the Day Treatment Centre are extremely thankful for the opportunity to purchase four new CADD pumps from funding provided from the 2021 Dry July campaign.

“This type of chemotherapy delivery is becoming increasingly common. It will ensure every patient that needs treatment to be infused by a CADD pump has access to one in the future.”

Serena is also very appreciative of Dry July funding, knowing that with the assistance of the CADD pump, life is a lot easier for her and many other patients.

Serena concludes, “I can’t speak highly enough of the Mater and all the nurses who do a wonderful job, sometimes under so much pressure. For me, they are worth their weight in gold!”

Keeping a low profile

Following the 2021 Dry July campaign, Ward 4C (Oncology) was lucky to receive funding to purchase two low-profile beds as part of a vital strategy to reduce falls and minimise harm for patients who commonly experience cognitive changes associated with advanced cancer and other chronic diseases.

Some of the features of the low profile bed include:

• An inbuilt alarm that can alert staff when the patient is getting out of bed.

• Superior positioning options to aid in the prevention of pressure areas and promotion of comfort.

• The beds are able to weigh the patient without the need to get the patient out of bed which is extremely useful in calculating doses of chemotherapy when the patient has mobility or pain issues.

• Has the capacity to cater for patients up to 270 Kg and can be extended to cater for tall patients.

Megan Kepreotis, Nurse Unit Manager Ward 4C (Oncology), commented, “We are very grateful to have been able to add two more low profile beds to our ward thanks to Dry July funding.

“The low profile beds are very popular with our patients as they are a comfortable bed, which offers a wide range of movements, and many benefits to improve patient safety.”

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