Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

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For our patients and their families Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is more than a cancer hospital; it’s a place of hope, healing and life. Our achievements are possible thanks to our generous and compassionate community of supporters. Funds raised through Dry July will enable Chris O’Brien Lifehouse to help lessen the impact of cancer on our patients and their families. Together we are working towards a cancer free future.

Latest Updates

Dry July Foundation funds help Chris O'Brien Lifehouse You Can Centre come to life

For a long time the space on Level 7 at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse has remained an empty shell.

Now it is home to our You Can Centre - a dedicated space for adolescent and young adult (AYA) patients to socialise, relax, wait for appointments, find some distraction and connect with others.

The You Can Centre was built in partnership with the Sony Foundation and the Sydney Local Health District, and with contributions also from the Dry July Foundation.

Funds raised from the 2021 Dry July campaign helped furnish the movie and games room, a music room, and a leafy outdoor balcony.

“I can use the space as somewhere else to go. I’m not spending all day in a hospital bed, I come down and hangout down here ….and some days just come down and nap in the cinema room.” Hannah (AYA patient)

At Chris O’Brien Lifehouse our patients are the centre of everything we do. Funding from Dry July has helped create a welcoming space for patients and their families to use while going through treatment for cancer.

“I walked in here with mum and mum burst into tears straight away….it has been done perfectly, from the actual designs of the rooms to the artwork to the furniture to the massive TVs… every single part has perfectly created a safe, non-hospital looking kind of environment.” Elliot (AYA patient)

You Can Coordinator, Emily, says, “We are grateful for the funding from Dry July as it will help provide comfort and support to cancer patients and their families at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at a time when they need it most.

Your Dry July fundraising means Chris O'Brien Lifehouse can fund multiple projects and purchase much needed equipment

Your incredible fundraising for Dry July has enabled Chris O’Brien Lifehouse to support young adolescent patients by purchasing:

• much need equipment for the outdoor space and recreation room for our YouCan Centre

• continue our art in health program Arterie

• provide in room complementary therapies like massage and reflexology from the LivingRoom

• fund our palliative care program so all patients and their families are supported throughout their cancer journey.

Thanks to Dry July Foundation funding, the Lifehouse LivingRoom is able to offer a range of evidence-based complementary therapies

The Lifehouse LivingRoom is the home of Supportive Cancer Care and Integrative Medicine at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in Camperdown, Sydney. Over the last few years, Dry July has been an integral part in funding our Lifehouse LivingRoom in our patient complementary therapies. 

Kim Kerin-Ayres, one of our Livingroom Care Coordinators who works closely with our patients says “I think cancer can be really disempowering, so helping people regain some sense of control is probably one of the most important things we try to do. We integrate into their treatment regimen some of the therapies that are going to be helpful for them in the long run, or help keep them well. For some people, it's about managing their symptoms. For others it's about proactive wellness.”

Kim recalls one of her patients who came to her for help with side effects of chemotherapy.

“She thought that she was just supposed to feel awful, that feeling so unwell must be normal. We were able to get some things in place to help her feel a little bit better, to manage her fatigue for example. She was about halfway through treatment and she said “I don't think I can [continue chemotherapy]”, but it was really important for her to do so. So we got into mindfulness, we got her into some reflexology... And she got through her cycles of chemo which was really good.”

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse benefits from Dry July funding

Your fundraising for Dry July has enabled Chris O’Brien Lifehouse to purchase a scalp cooling system to help prevent hair loss during treatment, charging stations so families can stay connected, and vital physiotherapy equipment to help patients on the road to recovery.

They have also been able to continue their inpatient complementary therapy program, allowing patients to experience the healing benefits of reflexology and massage from the comfort and privacy of their own room.

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse uses Dry July funds to help support people like Pamela

Pamela's Story

"This photo was taken early last December after struggling through my second chemotherapy treatment and miserably obvious hair loss.

Our time for non-medical appointments was limited as we live in Orange and had only two nights accommodation near the Lifehouse so we hoped to see about a wig before returning home. 

The Lifehouse Living Room has a delightful encouraging atmosphere and when I requested a wig library visit within our limited time we learnt that it was closed and undergoing renovations (with funds from Dry July) and appointments were not being made for several weeks. However, the wonderful staff in the Lifehouse were most considerate and dear Karen, the wig specialist, arranged for us to visit before we drove back home. Karen made the wig selection a happy and enjoyable experience by firstly viewing on computer a selection of styles like my own hair, and then, matching the colour with one of her wigs. 

After two happy trials, “bingo” a perfect match for my normal hair. My husband enjoyed taking this photo of his greatly cheered wife. Karen was pleased for me and shared a happy and informative time with us about wearing a wig and caring for it. 

To top off this happy experience, as we were about to leave the Lifehouse a delightful scene met us in the lounge area. A singer with keyboard welcomed all to join in the singing (with words provided). We left (with the wig) to drive home singing “What a Wonderful World” 

I feel greatly blessed to be receiving my cancer treatment by my brilliant doctor Christian Bryant and the competent dedicated staff of the Lifehouse. I thank them all. “

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