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St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne

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We hope you will join us in going dry (or dry-ish) this July to help us to continue to provide the best possible care to our cancer patients at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.

St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne prides itself in providing the very best care and treatment to patients from all walks of life, especially those who are vulnerable and isolated. We treat more than 57,000 patients a year in our world class Cancer Centre. Our Cancer Centre staff are dedicated and passionate which is evident in their everyday medical practices and care. Fundraising through Dry July assists staff in making this happen. That’s why we need your support!

The Cancer Centre Chemotherapy Day Unit provides specialised treatment for up to 28 patients a day, both from the metropolitan and rural areas of Victoria. The 6th floor Oncology Ward looks after inpatients that need further additional care and cancer treatment.

We’d love to reach our fundraising target of $50,000 this year so we can provide and update vital & essential equipment and supplies to our cancer patients.

Our wish-list for the 2020 Dry(ish) July Campaign is:
• Conditioner and combs for scalp cooling
• Vouchers for therapeutic massage or physiotherapy
• Funding to cover the cost of an education video introducing the CDU team and the basics of chemo treatment – presented on a USB for patients to take home
• Movie ticket vouchers
• Fridge magnets to include the contact information for the new Nurse-led Clinic
• 3 x shower commode chairs
• 3 x carriers for portable oxygen
• 6 West Oncology ward sunroom upgrade
• Christmas Decorations & Trees (Cancer Centre & 6th Floor)
• Newspapers for patients
• Bouquet of flowers
• Luxury tea bags
• TIM TAMS
• Carmen’s muesli bars

Latest Updates

Hazel Bennini's Story

Hazel Bennini was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2016. Thankfully she is now officially in full remission.

Hazel first noticed something wasn’t quite right when she returned from an overseas trip in 2015. “I noticed a lump in my neck in October. Following some tests I remember my doctor called me at 7.30am on Christmas Eve morning to tell me to head straight to St Vincent’s for a bone marrow test. That’s when I found out the cancer had become very aggressive.”

Hazel underwent Chemotherapy from January to May. It was a very difficult time but she credits the staff at St Vincent’s Hospital’s Cancer Centre Chemotherapy Day Unit for helping to ease the burden.

“The staff were absolutely fabulous, very caring. There’s a lovely lady who comes around with a great chocolate cake in the morning, they really look after you,” Hazel said.

Hazel who is 90 years young is thoroughly enjoying her clean bill of health. She still has to visit St Vincent’s every month but not for chemo. She now receives a boost for her immune system via the infusion of a blood product.

Hazel lost her beloved husband Melbourne fashion photographer, Bruno Benini, in 2001 so the outgoing widow views her trips to St Vincent’s as more of a social visit than a procedure.

‘I’ve become really friendly with a lot of the staff so I enjoy going in to see them,’ Hazel said.

Want to help support patients like Hazel being treated for cancer at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne?

Support the St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne Dry July team https://www.dryjuly.com/teams/team-st-vincent-s-hospital-melbourne

Going dry to support their patients

A team from St Vincent’s Oncology and Haematology ward are doing Dry July to give back to their inspiring patients.

6th Floor Dry July Team leader and Registered Nurse, Kate Gore said being in lockdown has made the team even more aware of how challenging life can be for patients diagnosed with cancer.

“We only have to make a small sacrifice by giving up alcohol for a month, whereas our patients make huge sacrifices daily, especially now. A lot of patients have long admissions and pre-COVID they could have visitors everyday but not during the pandemic,” Kate said.

The funds raised from last year’s campaign were used to purchase IPads. These have now been set up for the Virtual Visitor Program, which allows patients to connect with their friends and family via video conference.

This year the team hopes to put their funds towards items that can provide more holistic care to patients. “We try to make our patients feel as comfortable as possible. We would love to be able to provide better toiletries products, magazine subscriptions and even special tea and coffee to make them feel more at home. Our ward also needs some updates which would be a bonus!”

A few members of the Dry July team have previously participated individually but this is the first year they’ve created a 6th Floor team. Kate said it’s been great to have the comradery and support. “Team members have created posters as well as a QR code that people can scan to go directly to our donation page.”

The power of doing it as a group has also paid off. “Our initial goal was to raise $1,000. We hit that quite quickly, so we upped it to $3,000 and now we’re aiming for $5,000,” Kate said.

The team credit their patients as the inspiration to do Dry July. “Our patients are so wonderful, resilient and positive – we’re in awe of them!

“We get to witness the incredible strength displayed each and every day by people going through one of life’s toughest journeys. The money we raise will provide a bit of extra support to those who deserve it most!” Kate said.

Click here to support St Vincent’s 6th Floor Dry July team 

By going Dry this July, you're helping St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne help people like Trevor.

Trevor Shewan loves to keep fit. Even at 70, he manages to cycle 40kms at least three times a week.

In 2014 Trevor visited his doctor because of an eye infection. His GP sent him to have a blood test that resulted in a myeloma diagnosis. ‘The first bit of good luck was my GP referred me to Haematologist, Associate Professor Hang Quach, at St Vincent’s Hospital,’ Trevor said.

A/Prof Quach started Trevor on a six month treatment journey to lower prepare him for a stem cell transplant in February 2015. Following the transplant, Trevor was put on a maintenance program.

‘Things were going well until I started to experience a form of ‘peripheral neuropathy’, which caused my feet and legs to become numb, and was very painful. Then when I relapsed three years later A/Prof Quach recommended I go on a clinical trial,’ Trevor said.

Trevor recalls he started on the trial at the end of May 2018. ‘The last two years have been good, my numbers are down and they’re staying down. I am lucky to have such great staff at the cancer centre who help make the two days each week much more enjoyable than it would be otherwise.’

Trevor credits diet and fitness as some of his best medicines! ‘I’ve always enjoyed exercising. It seems to really help because it enhances my blood circulation.’

As well as dealing with his own three weeks on, one week off a month treatment, Trevor is also his partner Irma’s carer.

‘Irma has a brain tumour but we’re managing. She has carers during the day while I’m having my treatment.

‘Having this condition is a bit of a wakeup call about how fragile life is. There’s no such thing as a sure thing. I have to face uncertainty every month when I get my results. I’ve been lucky to have had six years to value friendships and hopefully there will be many more,’ Trevor said.

Want to help support patients like Cedric and Trevor being treated for cancer at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne?

Support the St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne Dry July team https://www.dryjuly.com/teams/team-st-vincent-s-hospital-melbourne or call Dry July Foundation on (02) 9247 6691.

Every donation makes a difference to people affected by cancer.


Cedric Wilson has benefited from treatment at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne

Berwick resident, Cedric Wilson, was first diagnosed with Lymphoma in early 2014, after he started losing weight. Ironically his wife, Sheila, had recently recovered from breast cancer. In October 2014 he fractured his spine and was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.

Cedric began his treatment locally with different drug combinations. However, in 2017 his Oncologist suggested a clinical trial. Fortunately, Cedric was accepted into a myeloma clinical trial at St Vincent’s in October 2017.

“I was very lucky to get on the trial. Associate Professor Hang Quach is absolutely fabulous, she not only treats my cancer but she also makes drug adjustments, to manage any side effects, which improves my general wellbeing. The Cancer Centre nurses, reception staff, and pharmacy are amazing, they’re all so caring and empathetic. After two-and-a-half years of treatment at St Vincent’s, they’ve become like my second family. They make sure the whole process is totally stress free,” Cedric said.

Despite living with cancer and requiring treatment three weeks out of every month, Cedric feels very lucky. “My wife, family and friends have all been so wonderful. I was diagnosed when aged 75 and didn’t think I’d see my 80th birthday – that was certainly a special celebration. I really have a good life and appreciate the love and care I’ve been given.”


St Vincent’s Hospital’s Cancer Centre Chemotherapy Day Unit; Victoria’s Centre for Myeloma Treatment

St Vincent’s Hospital’s Cancer Centre Chemotherapy Day Unit has the auspicious title of being the centre for myeloma treatment in Victoria.

Myeloma is a type of cancer that develops from plasma cells in the bone marrow. Myeloma is often called multiple myeloma because most people (90%) have multiple bone lesions at the time it is diagnosed. Plasma cells are a type of white blood cell found in the bone marrow.

Around 18,000 people in Australia are living with myeloma at any one time. Unfortunately there is currently no cure, but there are some very promising trials and treatments that help to extend and improve the quality of life for patients.

More than 57,000 patients are treated at St Vincent’s world class Cancer Centre each year. The Cancer Centre Chemotherapy Day Unit provides specialised treatment for up to 28 patients a day, both from the metropolitan and rural areas of Victoria.

Patients with myeloma need to receive ongoing treatment, so many have been coming to the Cancer Centre for years. Registered Nurse Kate Chirnside, said she sees her patients more than she sees her own family. “The patients are all so lovely. I enjoy coming to work because I’m a talker and many of our patients love a chat.”


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