Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

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Karen Griffiths
2nd Year
Jess Payne
2nd Year
Tim Bradley
7th Year
Filomena Morelli
2nd Year
Fiona Wilson
6th Year

Fundraising For

Funds raised this Dry July will provide care and comfort for patients with cancer and their families

About Us

For our patients and their families, Chris O'Brien Lifehouse is more than a cancer hospital; it's a place of hope and healing.

Our achievements, care and services are possible thanks to the generosity and compassionate support from our community.

From our wig library which instils confidence and empowerment to our patients, to our integrative inpatient services such as reflexology and massage, and our You Can Centre which serves as a haven for adolescent patients - funds raised through Dry July offers comfort in a challenging time.

Together, we are working towards a cancer free future.

Latest Updates

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. “

Eighty Looms, Eighty Families

One of many community projects made possible by Dry July your generous support is the Weaving into Wellbeing project. In collaboration with the Australian Tapestry Workshop in Melbourne, Nicole and the Carterie team distributed eighty hand looms throughout the hospital. Patients and visitors set to work weaving colourful layers of thread and cloth into simple tapestries. Over a period of months, the looms were completed and delivered back—some in the mail from patients and families who had gone home—and the tapestries were assembled into wall hangings. For most of the participants, weaving was a new skill. Intricate and absorbing, it helps to focus the mind and keep the hands busy during waiting periods or hospital stays.

The simple, repetitive nature of weaving appeals especially to carers, many of whom come to appreciate Carterie’s visits during long or frequent visits. “We do a lot of projects with Carterie, but this one really touched me,” says Nicole. “One person, in particular, comes to mind: a carer who spent several months by her partner’s bedside in the ICU.”

“She said to me, this is my lifeline. To have somewhere to go every week, someone to talk to, a new skill to learn—it kept me going.” The weavings now hang in the waiting rooms for other patients and families to enjoy.

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse receives additional grant from Dry July Foundation

We're pleased to announce that Chris O'Brien Lifehouse has received an additional grant from the Dry July Foundation October grant round.

This grant will enable funding for:

• New wigs for the Wig Library to ensure all patients have access to free wig and scarf, correct accessories and professional fitting. This is a service that is crucial for supporting patients as often patients cannot afford a wig as they have stopped working and have large medical bills

• Living Well Bone Marrow Rehab Program: Introduce an 8-week personalised program of individual and group exercise, education, psychological support and nutrition support to help people restore wellbeing, strength and fitness after a bone marrow transplant for treatment for multiple myeloma, leukaemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers

• Purchase of Visitor Chairs for Wards to make friends and family more comfortable while they are supporting their loved one going through cancer treatment

Dry July Foundation making a difference to patients at Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

Thanks to funds raised through Dry July 2019, the Dry July Foundation is able to fund an incredible amount of projects at the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse:

• Build a small garden outside gym window. Currently the exercise equipment face a glass window which has a metal fence in front. There's space enough to build a small garden so patient will have a nicer view to help with their exercise recovery.

• Speech Pathology Tools to relieve anxiety in tracheotomy patients. The tracheostomy model can demo how the procedures are performed

• New Yoga Equipment for patient yoga class. Exercise during and after treatment makes a huge difference to patients recovery; yoga in particular, as it's relatively low impact can help patients during recovery but also ease anxiety and stress during treatment.

• Connect Pods for Clinics: 6 workspace 'pods' including computers connected to the internet so that patients can work/ stay connected whilst in hospital

• Bladder scanner, used for gynae patients in recovery from surgery to check that the bladder is working normally - it detects any problems that might have been caused by the surgery and enables the nurses and doctors to address them, ensuring the patient is not in pain or discomfort.

• Commodes and shower chairs for patient rooms and visitor chairs for Level 9 south

• Maintenance of Patient Transport: Keeping the Transport to Treatment service going, to help patients get to can from treatment and appointments

• Physiotherapist Rehab Equipment To will help with general fitness and wellbeing as well as improving recovery time. Items include Fortress mobile posture mirror, Fortress Rolling platform step and ankle weights

• Charging Stations for Waiting Rooms, to help keep patients devices fully charged so they can stay connected with family and friends during treatment

• Continued Complementary Inpatient Program: Ongoing Massage/reflexology program for patients or carers

• Ongoing funding for Arterie Carterie Art Therapy Program

• Lymphoedema Management Program: Lymphoedema drainage massage, laser therapy, exercise and acupuncture services for patients with Lymphoedema

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