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Olivia Newton-John Cancer Centre

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25 Supporters

Raised

$1,963.60

Target

$100,000

1.9636%

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Funds raised this Dry July will help to fund wellness therapies to help people with cancer thrive

About Us

The Olivia Newton-John Cancer & Wellness Centre is a leading cancer centre that is committed to providing exceptional medical treatment, along with evidence-based wellness and supportive care programs.

Continuing Olivia’s legacy, our goal is to support every person with cancer to have access to wellness programs which treat the mind, body and spirit, by fundraising for Dry July, you are helping to ensure the continuation of wellness and supportive care programs at the ONJ Centre, which are not government funded.

These programs are designed to provide cancer patients with the support, information, and strategies they need throughout their cancer experience. Our programs include oncology massage, art and music therapy, psychology, specialised exercise, individual nursing consultations and information and supportive group programs. Over 11,000 consultations have been provided to our cancer patients in 2023.

Wellness is different for everyone, and no two cancer experiences are the same, which means personalised wellness plans enable patients to feel empowered by having information and choice in decision making at a time when they feel uncertain and lack control in their lives.

Going Dry this July will help ensure patients continue to receive ongoing, essential support from the specialised wellness practitioners so that they thrive through their cancer experience.

Latest Updates


Art and Music program funded by Dry July at ONJ - patient feedback

Sometimes the words of our patients are the best way to express just how much your support helps them during their cancer treatment. The Art and Music program allows patients to come together in a group setting and express themselves through a combination of art and music.

“Helped me be happy.”

“Even with cancer you can be content.”

“Allowing both art and music to nurture and calm the mind adding positive outlook.”

“Provides escape, joy and growth.”

“Art and music are therapeutic.”

“Expressing self positively is worth the time.”

“Great to allow ideas, feelings and emotions to flow.”

 “Art and music make you aware of the subconscious underlying your thoughts.”

“Helped me let go and relax – need to do this more.”

“I totally escaped, relaxed and enjoyed!”


Dry July funds at work - Oncology massage program patient feedback

Oncology Massage provides a relaxing experience for patients as well as offering particular benefits for experiencing nausea, pain, fatigue, anxiety and sleep difficulties as well as stiffness or limited range of movement.

“She not only soothed my bones and muscles, she soothed my heart.”

“Massage helped me to re-focus on my journey ahead.”

“Very relaxing, good for the mind... body...”

“Very lovely and really helped me relax, so relaxed I fell asleep.”

 So great to feel relaxed and nurtured.”

 “Very gentle and blissful (heaven).”

Dry July funds Gentle Yoga at ONJ

Yoga has been shown to improve both physical and emotional health. Clinical research has shown that yoga may improve sleep, decrease stress and enhance quality of life. Exercise and physical activity are increasingly prescribed across the cancer continuum.

The Gentle Yoga program at the ONJ Centre continues to be one of the most sought after programs in the Wellness and Supportive Care suite. Our Gentle Yoga six-week programs have been scheduled for four times this year with ten patients in each program. They are typically in high demand, always fully booked with a waiting list for the next program.

Participants are deeply appreciative of the chance to learn the skills of yoga and allow it to help them through their cancer treatment.

 “Spending some time for myself to do gentle exercise and meditate.”

“Relaxation, stretching and consciousness of the body.”

“To be in a group environment learning how to relax and breathe properly.”


Horticultural therapy

“I always loved gardening, yet through stresses of ill-health, I felt I had lost my passion for it.”

Like many people undergoing a cancer diagnosis and treatment, Christine Fousketakis struggled to get through every day, and things she had loved doing, like gardening, became a thing of the past.

Diagnosed with breast cancer, Christine underwent a rigorous treatment plan at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre (ONJ Centre) including surgery, radiotherapy and hormone therapy.

Christine visits the ONJ Centre twice each week and takes part in many wellness and supportive care programs including horticultural therapy, which is funded by Dry July.

Gardening is a wonderful way to connect with nature and enjoy the present moment. The feel and texture of the soil, the scent of the plants and the ability to facilitate new life by planting seeds and nurturing their growth helps to improve health and well-being of patients and their families, and allows them to enjoy a respite from the emotional turmoil of having cancer.

“Using and engaging with gardens and plants helps people emotionally and physically,” explains Steven Wells, Horticultural Therapist at Austin Health. “It can help patients re-connect with a hobby they may have lost the ability to do themselves, it can act as a diversion from the stress of cancer treatment, and it offers more broad health benefits like connecting with nature by being outdoors in the garden.”

The benefits for Christine have been very clear, and she is so thankful for the opportunity to be involved in horticultural therapy.

“Having attended horticultural therapy helped me to focus less on my current health (even for a short time) and more on something I once enjoyed doing so much,” says Christine. “The group is held in the Wellness Centre garden in a beautiful, serene and relaxing area where one can again learn to enjoy working with nature , no matter how big or small the project.”

“Thank you to all the wonderful Dry July’ers who helped raise money to help people like me,” says Christine.


Programs at Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre

Dry July 2016 funding will support 3 programs at ONJCWRC:

- Making Meaning Through Music (music therapy groups for people with cancer and for carers). Funding will support 4 x 8 week sessions over a 12 month period, with 12 people in each session. Music therapy provides a safe way for people experiencing cancer to explore and express difficult emotions. 

- Mindfulness Based Street Reduction for People Experiencing Cancer. Mindful meditation practices are run in a supportive small group environment by an experienced accredited teacher. Practices include body awareness, gentle movement and mind training.  

- Horticultural Therapy Program. Horticultural therapy is a process of using plants and garden related activities to assist with achieving patient goals and to promote the well-being of people’s mind, body and spirit, under the guidance of a horticultural therapist. 

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