Blood cancer survivor, Joe and his partner, Chanelle benefitted from on-site personal care and support while staying at Leukaemia Foundation Patient Accommodation.
The couple have lived out at the Kalgoorlie Goldfields in remote Western Australia for the last 12 years. Joe working as a boilermaker and Chanelle as a hairdresser, life was bliss for the nature-loving couple.
“We are outdoors people and love going camping, fishing, hiking and bike-riding,” said Chanelle. “Every chance we get we drive the four hours to Esperance to camp at the beautiful beaches, we absolutely love it there and we love the ocean.
A blood cancer diagnosis couldn’t have been further from their minds when Joe started to notice shortness of breath last year.
When Joe also started having lung and collar bone pain, Chanelle encouraged him to go back and demand an x-ray.
“When the x-ray and blood tests came back clear I was progressed to a CT scan and that confirmed I had lymphoma,” remembers Joe.
Joe would need lifesaving chemotherapy treatment in Perth, a good eight hours from their hometown.
Accommodation was the couple’s biggest concern with Joe facing several months of treatment. They were relieved when they received a call from Leukaemia Foundation staff offering a home-away-from-home at the Stirling Cross Apartments in Perth.
“We cried so much when Lara called us and said; ‘come on down we have a place for you’ - I'll never forget that phone call.”
“Emotional support was a huge one for us as well,” explains Chanelle. “The girls always checked in on us, made sure we were ok and had everything we needed.
“There were so many times we went down to the office and had a good cry. That alone was such wonderful support…to have someone to listen.”
“Overall the support from all the staff there was everything we needed, even to this day we hear from them to ask how we are doing.”