2018 Campaign funds and a top up grant from Dry July Foundation funds Wellness Program
Oncology Massage, Gentle Yoga and an Oncology Dietitian were among the programs funded by the Dry July Foundation.
Patients at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre, have access to a Multidisciplinary Team who are committed to ensuring they are cared for physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. The ONJ Centre are committed to supporting patients through every step of their treatment. They provide a caring and supportive environment and offer a wide range of Wellness & Supportive Care Programs to help patients and their family members manage a challenging time in the best way possible.
The Wellness & Supportive Care Team at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre coordinate a range of evidence-based therapies and programs. These programs are designed to provide support, information and offer strategies to assist you during your treatment and following the completion of your treatment care.
One of their patients, Anne, talks about how the gentle yoga program helped during her recovery. "Gentle yoga was just amazing. It gave me contact with other people so I felt I wasn’t isolated or doing it alone,” says Anne. “It was six sessions and we were all able to take our own journey within the class and do it at our own pace. The relaxation was lovely, it taught me to give myself time and be kind to myself, I learnt breathing techniques and other beautiful things to help me in distressing situations.”. You can read more about Anne's journey here.
Massage soothes hearts as well as bodies
Oncology massage at ONJ Cancer Centre, generously funded by Dry July, is helping patients feel comforted, supported and safe as they undergo cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Suzi was diagnosed with an aggressive form of myeloma – a type of cancer that develops from plasma cells in the bone marrow.
Treatment for Suzi was intense. She needed chemotherapy followed by a stem cell transplant. During her treatment, Suzi was very grateful for oncology massage, generously supported by Dry July Foundation.
“After I was diagnosed I had three fractures in my back. I was so sore and fragile. The wellness staff recommended an oncology massage however I was so petrified about being pushed and prodded. Finally, I agreed, and the lovely massage therapist Bronwyn was so gentle and so caring. She not only soothed my bones and muscles, but she soothed my heart. It was the most calming and relaxing experience during a very challenging and worrying time.”
After Suzi’s stem cell transplant, she was very unwell and in hospital for several weeks. Not able to leave her hospital room, massage therapist Bronwyn came to Suzi instead.
“She visited weekly during a time when I was terribly unwell. Her gentle massage, soft voice and kindness helped my mind shift to a place of calm”, says Suzi.
Because of support from Dry July, special services like oncology massage make a lifechanging difference to people with cancer, like Suzi. Thank you Dry July for all that you do.
“Oncology massage greatly contributed to my recovery and wellness. Thank you for all that you give to keep this special service going.”- Suzi Juracic
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.”