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Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane

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Dry July is a highly important initiative for the PA Research Foundation as it allows us to raise vital funds to positively impact patient care for cancer patients at the PA Hospital.

Our Dry July fundraising efforts are aimed at helping fund patient support initiatives and programs that make cancer patients’ time in hospital more comfortable and help them to experience improved health outcomes as a result.

Thanks to the success of Dry July in 2020, PA Research Foundation was able to provide funding to install free high speed Wi-Fi for cancer patients facing long stays in hospital for treatment. High speed Wi-Fi allows cancer patients to stay in touch with family and friends and have an escape from their treatment and time in hospital through surfing the web and enjoying services like Netflix.

Dry July funds have also helped to expand the services offered by the PAH based Queensland Cancer Wellness Initiative (QCWI), a program that offers a range of services in where people living with cancer and its ongoing impact are nurtured and empowered to access evidence-based support, at a time and place that works for individual needs.

All of the programs offered through the QCWI greatly improve patient experiences at the PAH and help those diagnosed with cancer to live as well as possible post diagnosis.

These services are a retreat for all people with cancer and their families at the PA Hospital and currently includes activities such as:
• cooking classes
• physiotherapy & exercise wellness
• massage & yoga
• Lymphoedema treatment and support
• leisure activities such as gaming consoles and movies which help take patients mind off the stress of cancer treatment
• pet therapy
• nutrition and dietary support
• programs to counteract cancer related fatigue
• social and emotional support

This year we are hoping to raise funds to help the QCWI build a brand new website which will allow some of the initiative’s services to be offered to cancer patients right across Queensland and even the world.

Go Dry this July and select Princess Alexandra Hospital as your beneficiary to help us raise vital funds to help us provide hope and support to people diagnosed with cancer.

Latest Updates

High-speed Wi-Fi installation at the Princess Alexandra Hospital thanks to Dry July fundraising

Dry July funds have enabled the PA Research Foundation to install free high-speed Wi-Fi for cancer patients facing lengthy hospital stays.

Hospital stays during cancer treatment can be an isolating experience, particularly during a year like 2020. Being able to access free Wi-Fi from hospital beds will help reduce the emotional distance between patients and their vital support network, as well as providing a crucial distraction from the circumstances that brought them to the hospital ward.

Nguyen 'Thai' Dang's Story

The care shown to Nguyen Thai Dang since he first came to the oncology ward of the Princess Alexandra Hospital in 2018 for chemotherapy to treat leukemia, ended in him nicknaming the PA ‘The Hilton of Hospitals’ and becoming not only a survivor but a champion of the hospital and its staff.

Thai, as he is known to his friends, checked into the PA’s Oncology ward at the request of haematologists on October 22, due to his white blood cell count sliding downward for a matter of months.

“There was a trial treatment organized by PA Hospital and Norvatis Pharmaceutical that would allow me to have a path to treatment that would be less of a burden to Australian taxpayers. Looking at the results of my last blood test, I decided to get on the trial. It was a win-win for both: I would get the treatment and the medical science team could get new weapons to fight the Leukemia disease,” Thai says.

Thai spent around 6 weeks, in the PA including stints in both Oncology, ICU and Ward 3C and multiple trips to the X-Ray and CT Scanning departments. Reflecting on his treatment journey he has nothing but praise for all who helped him beat the disease, including the range of services that were on offer to help support patients.

“I was so impressed with the hospital and its staff, the service and care from doctors and nurses are first class,” he says.

Thai, who still visits the PA once a year to see his liver specialist Dr Powell, went on to become a valued fundraiser for the hospital such is his gratitude towards the level of care, has a simple message for anyone thinking of donating to the hospital through Dry July or other initiatives.

“Take a tour and visit some patients (could be their friends or relatives). A talk to doctors will also be encouraged. Once they see the “good fruits” they will embrace the “good trees”,” he says.

Funds raised through Dry July will help expand Cancer Wellness Initiative, where patients receiving treatment for cancer like Thai are enabled, nurtured and empowered to access evidence-based support at a time and place that works for individual needs to enrich their life outside of treatment.

For more information on the Wellness Initiative see: https://www.qldcancerwellness.org/


Kind Hands Massage Program

One of the many programs made possible through 2019 Dry July funding at the PA Hospital is the Kind Hands Massage Program.

As a result of an outpatient survey prepared by the Princess Alexandra Hospital’s (PAH) Cancer Services Division in 2018 examining what wellness meant for patients attending cancer services, and what could be done to improve their wellbeing, relaxation and massage were recurrent.

Subsequently, the Cancer Wellness Initiative group began working with PAH Volunteer Services to establish the Kind Hands Massage program in 2019. A select team of volunteers now offers gentle hand or foot massages to patients on Ward 2E and in Day Care Oncology on Tuesdays and Thursdays, in the morning and afternoon.

Feedback from patients has been overwhelmingly positive with an increase in their mood and comments such as “I feel like I’m in a spa”, and “it’s a nice relaxing way to take your mind off things for a little while”.

Our vision for this service is like all our wellness programs it continues to grow and develop, and we will be able to offer a wider group of patients the opportunity to access hand or foot massage five days a week.

For more information on the Kind Hands Massage Program and other wellness initiatives head to https://www.qldcancerwellness.org/


PA Hospital launches the next stage to their cancer wellness initiative… an online portal!

With the growing uncertainty surrounding the spread of COVID-19, innovative ways of providing support for those affected by cancer is paramount.

Thanks to the PA Research Foundation’s 2019 Dry July campaign which raised over $46,000, the timely development of a new online portal has been made possible. As a part of the Queensland Cancer Wellness Initiative (QCWI), the online portal offers a range of resources, activities, and information specifically designed for patients to access to support throughout their treatment journey. QCWI is the first program of its kind in Queensland to provide a model of cancer care based on a wellness framework which addresses all the components of self – mind, body and spirit.

Jodie Nixon, the team leader of QCWI emphasises the importance of such individual based supports, ”With so many people now living with cancer, there is a need to develop a model of care that looks after individual well-being in a holistic manner during and after cancer treatment.”


Princess Alexandra Hospital benefits from Dry July 2019 fundraising

Thanks to funds raised through Dry July 2019, the Princess Alexandra Hospital have been able to fund the following projects:

• Purchase of computers for patient computer hub, for patients to access latest information and keep connected whilst attending appointments

• Patient refreshment area

• Pet Therapy Program

• Kitchen Renovation and introduction of nutrition and cooking classes


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