Thumb deb 20dryjuly 20c 20obrien

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

277 Supporters

$131,916.24 raised

Make a Difference

Sign up to Dry July Australia 2018 and raise funds for Chris O'Brien Lifehouse.

Spread The Word

Share this page to get friends to donate:

Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is more than a hospital; it’s a place of hope, possibility, healing and life.

Our achievements are possible thanks to our generous, compassionate and committed community of supporters. Funds raised through Dry July will help Chris O’Brien Lifehouse continue to provide truly integrated holistic treatment and cancer care to our patients.

We’re aiming to use funds to:
- Continue our free art therapy programs (Arterie)
- Offer catering support to volunteer groups
- Improve the waiting room facilities for our Radiation Oncology patients
- support our young sarcoma patients with a comprehensive centre

Latest Updates

2018 Campaign funds and a top up grant from Dry July Foundation funds Arterie Carterie Program and more!

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse received an amazing $137,500 in funding from the Dry July Foundation to continue it's complimentary therapy program, 'Arterie Carterie'. Arterie is an innovative inter-disciplinary model of art in healthcare practice, specifically designed to improve outcomes for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse patients, families, carers and staff by easing the side effects of cancer and its treatment such as stress, pain, fatigue, isolation and depression. Arterie participates in a way that fits with the patient’s treatment – it is non-invasive, inclusive and supportive.

Additional funds also enabled the purchase of specialist chairs for the intensive care unit and wards, extend the Complimentary Therapy Inpatient Program that will provide 500 massage and relexology sessions, and landscape the outdoor gardens to provide beautiful healing spaces to aid patients’ recovery.

Small massage1

Paxman Scalp Cooling Unit for Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

Nurse Unit Manager Lindley Randle from Chris O'Brien Lifehouse's Day Therapy Unit was delighted to be able to purchase a Paxman Scalp Cooling Unit designed to reduce and prevent hair loss during selected chemotherapy treatments. This was made possible through Dry July funding.

For patients who meet the requirements to use the machine and who are distressed by the idea of losing their hair (and ‘looking like someone with cancer’), scalp cooling provides an opportunity to maintain the majority of their hair and to reduce the emotional and psychosocial burden of treatment. 

Small paxman at coblh

Lymphoedema Management Program

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse used Dry July funding towards a Lymphoedema Management Program in the Living Room. 

This is a coordinated 6-12 week individual treatment program. Treatments may include Lymphoedema drainage massage, laser therapy, exercise and acupuncture services for patients with Lymphoedema, a condition which reduces quality of life.

“We are so thankful to Dry July for providing funding for the LivingRoom Lymphoedema service. This funding has allowed us to offer essential services to those patients in need”.

- Jessica Kyneur and Sandra Templeton (Lymphoedema Therapists)

Small jessica lymphodema therapist lr 2992

Angie's story

“Cancer arrived and every creative fibre in Angie’s body left”

Meet Angie, a powerfully positive mum of two daughters, who couldn’t believe cancer had happened to her. Cancer was not in her family genes - in fact Angie used to joke with her daughters about how beautiful the genes were that she had passed down to them, right down to their perfectly-shaped eyebrows. Now, because of her treatment, Angie no longer has eyebrows.

In 2013, Angie was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and commenced her after which she was given the all clear later that year. She was done, she had beaten it, and left as a healthy, happy woman with a new lease on life.

However, in February 2016, Angie became ill overnight and a CT scan revealed her cancer had returned and was on her brain. Angie says: “It was like the whole floor was opening up and swallowing me.” She still maintained her positive mindset, however, and vowed that cancer was not taking over her life. Three days after diagnosis she saw her neurosurgeon and a week later underwent two major brain operations to remove her tumours.

Angie visits Lifehouse every three weeks for treatment. Before being diagnosed she dabbled in various art projects to release her creative flair.

She would often see Deb the Director of Arterie holding group workshops, running around with “Carterie” – small cart trolleys containing a range of quick and easy projects - and engaging with patients.

Arterie is an innovative inter-disciplinary model of art in healthcare practice, specifically designed to improve outcomes for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse patients, families, carers and staff by easing the side effects of cancer and its treatment such as stress, pain, fatigue, isolation and depression. Arterie participates in a way that fits with the patient’s treatment – it is non-invasive, inclusive and supportive.

Although Angie was a keen artist, she had lost her sense of creativity and passion whilst going through treatment, until one day she was having a particularly rough day and felt very unsettled in Lifehouse. Deb was quick to notice that she wasn’t seeming herself and encouraged her to attend a watercolour group workshop given by artist Margaret McKenna. Not only did she enjoy the art but the volunteer running the workshop was a listening ear and provided a perfect distraction to her rough day. Angie says that day will remain among her fondest memories, as she left Lifehouse feeling uplifted and said to herself as she walked home “hey, I’ve still got my creative flair”.

She has since participated in other various group workshops creating pieces of art for the hospital, and every time she walks into Lifehouse and sees those artworks hanging she thinks: “Yep, that’s a little piece of me in there”.

Angie says Deb and her Arterie team are not only an arts program, they create a sense of belonging, they are inclusive and non-judgemental.

Without the funding Lifehouse receives from Dry July we would never be able to continue to run these patient centred workshops, provide mobile arts studios (Carterie) or create the collaboration artworks to display in the hospital. So Thank YOU!


Small arterie1

Artist in Residence at Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

An integral part of the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse complementary therapy program, Arterie supports a holistic approach to cancer patient care through an innovative participatory arts program. Arterie’s mission is to improve outcomes for patients, families, carers, staff and visitors by easing the side effects of cancer and its treatment as well as providing a therapeutic distraction from treatment through art engagement and participation.

Dry July has helped with funding the Artist in Residence program at Arterie. The current program consists of the following: 

9 Day residency over 3 weeks making a variety of art forms

• August 2016 - Mary Burgess Weaver - ‘The Joy of Silk’

• October 2016 - Penelope McKweown + Annabel Mason, Sculptors,

‘The Happenstance Journey’

• December 2016 - Michael Bogle - Book binding

• February 2017 Lynne Sung - Paper artist ‘The Reef’

• April 2017 Helen Gauchat - Painter - Landscape acrylic painting

• June 2017 - Ro Murray

• AIR sit in the foyer of Lifehouse - its a high public and traffic area - with a performative nature of the art process. Most artists work slower than they imagine end work in their own time on the project that in most instances is gifted to the hospital.

Small artist in residence