Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

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$198,165.56 raised

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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

Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Patient Ambassador: Caroline

The Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Dry July team is getting ready to put down their glasses to raise money for cancer support and treatment.

Their wonderful volunteer and cancer survivor Caroline is taking up the Dry July challenge again this year. “I’ll be having a glass of bubbly on the 30th of June to commiserate and another on the 1st of August to celebrate!” Caroline said.

Caroline began volunteering at RPA in 2007 after having treatment there for breast cancer. She now volunteers at both Lifehouse and RPA; “I feel like I’ve had a lot of help, I’d like to put a lot back in. That’s why I volunteer, and why I’m doing Dry July.”

Caroline met her partner John, also a cancer survivor and fellow volunteer at both Lifehouse and RPA Cancer Support Centre, at an RPA volunteers’ drinks event. John drives the Lifehouse patient transport car, which was purchased with funds raised through previous Dry July campaigns.

After Caroline’s champagne-free month, she and John will be celebrating by flying to Cairns for a holiday on 1 August.

For more information about the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse team and to track their Dry July adventures, check out the team page at:

Transport Vehicle at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse

The Lifehouse Volunteer Program provides a broad range of services for patients, designed to make their visit as easy and positive an experience as possible. Volunteers offer information, comfort and reassurance, as well as a friendly face. Program services range from assistance navigating the Centre; providing information about patient services; offering refreshments in reception areas and clinics; and assistance in using tablet computers available to patients during treatments.

Lifehouse volunteers also operate a complementary transport service for patients and their carers.  Dry July funds have been used to assist with providing a free shuttle service, which goes to and from Central Station every 30 minutes during peak appointment times. This service is invaluable to patients - particularly those from regional NSW travelling to Sydney by train for treatment.

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse opens it’s doors!

This year, we welcomed Chris O'Brien Lifehouse as a beneficiary of Dry July funding. Last month Lifehouse opened its doors to patients, offering uncompromising care and be a beacon of hope entirely devoted to people with cancer. Watch their welcome and orientation video here 

Dry July funding from this year will help fit-out and equip inpatient wards, containing single rooms with ensuite bathroom and balcony for 96 rooms, ensuring patient comfort away from home. Funds raised will also allow Lifehouse to offer complementary therapies during and post treatment, designed to enhance patients’ quality of life.

Helping Chris O'Brien Lifehouse get ready

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse is a state-of-the art Integrated Cancer Centre in Sydney. Lifehouse officially opened Stage 1 (out patient care) in November 2013, and the Stage 2 inpatient ward is set to open in 2014.

Dry July 2013 funds have contributed towards fitting-out and equipping the inpatient wards, consisting of single rooms with ensuite bathroom and balcony; there are 96 rooms planned. Funds have also supported the Integrative Medicine Centre, so that patients in need are not out of pocket for services provided by a complementary therapist or psychologist.

Associate Professor Chris Milross does Dry July for Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

I started Dry July a week early! That makes today Day 16…. and I definitely am counting days! “Going without” has been just as challenging as I had imagined that it might be.

As an Oncologist I love my job. Each day I am blessed to share deeply felt personal moments with my patients. It should not come as a surprise that many of these shared moments are positive powerful and uplifting.

Unfortunately however there are also moments of sadness that have an equally profound impact. And I will admit that some days when I get home I have “no words left” and frankly I need a drink.

One reason I started Dry July a week early because I am also participating in a seven week weight loss and fitness program, I knew from keeping a food diary that my biggest source of luxury calories came through my alcohol intake, and so I thought that by participating in Dry July I could “kill two birds with one stone” as it were.  My choice to participate however was also influenced by my realisation that it was possible that I was using alcohol as an emotional crutch. And so I was curious to see if the habit could be easily broken.

It turns out that it is not all that easy to break the habit. While I have definitely lost the weight, I can’t say that I have necessarily slept better or felt better. That being said I am developing an increasing sense of pride in my achievement so far and a level of comfort around the notion that I actually am in control of my alcohol intake. And I have lost some weight too!

For the rest of the month, to manage the struggle and to help me achieve my goal, I am going to concentrate on, and celebrate the wonderful successes of my patients.