The Alfred, Melbourne

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Patients are the reason we are here –they are the focus of what we do. We are proudly a public health service, available to all. Join us this Dry July and help The Alfred continue to support people affected by cancer. Each year, The Alfred treats thousands of people living with cancer. Alfred Health’s cancer service includes 28 inpatient beds, 18 day procedure units, and a large radiotherapy and chemotherapy centre solely dedicated to treating adult cancer patients. The Alfred’s cancer services allow for close clinical coordination with a range of cancer specialists, including surgeons, medical oncologists, haematologists, and nursing and allied health specialists. Community support is a fundamental part of The Alfred’s history and its future. Through Dry July, you have helped deliver a real and tangible impact on the lives of those dealing with a cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. As a Dry July campaigner your actions have made a considerable difference to the lives of our patients, their carers and loved ones. The list of improvements and innovations made possible by your generosity and restraint is long and for that we are so very grateful. Programs funded through Dry July include a music therapy program for patients and loved ones, helping them explore and express difficult emotions. It has also seen the implementation of a patient accommodation program, increasing access to care for our regional and rural patients, giving them a home away from home. With your support we hope to be able to continue to fund these amazing programs as well as make some wonderful new improvements to the Dry July garden.

Latest Updates

2016 Patient Ambassador: Rochelle Gengaroli

My story began on the 7th of September 2015, when I was admitted to The Alfred, Ward 7East Haematology Oncology to begin chemotherapy for an unusual presentation of AML (Acute Myeloid Leukaemia). At 22, this diagnosis felt surreal, despite feeling quiet fatigued, I felt I was too young and healthy to have a ‘cancer’ diagnosis. That’s the thing though, isn’t it? Cancer does not discriminate.

I had a stereotyped image in my mind about how a person who has cancer should look and feel. After being admitted as an in-patient, I very quickly learned that this image was somewhat wrong. Yes, there were people who were very sick, but there were also people who despite their diagnosis remained strong and optimistic.  

Shortly after I was admitted, I was introduced by my nurse to Skye (18) also an AML patient. Skye is bright, bubbly and oozes positivity. She almost instantly calmed my apprehension and fear of the unknown. Being able to speak with a like-minded patient of similar age really helped me. We both spent over 3 months as in-patients on the ward over a 6 month period of treatment.

We decorated our room with photos, cards and feel-good quotes stuck to the walls, with perfumed reeds, dreamcatchers and elephants with their trunks up for good luck. Pillows and colourful blankets brightened the room, as did the fake flowers (As real flowers are a health risk to immune compromised patients). As you could imagine, we created a positive atmosphere which really helped us get through our treatment.  

Despite being confined to the oncology ward, we managed to make the best of a difficult situation. I particularly remember Halloween, when we put makeup on our faces, complete with black eyes and Frankenstein stitches. We draped ourselves in sheets and dragged our IV poles behind us, spooking the nursing staff around the ward. The best part was the unplanned scare our night nurse got when he came on duty later that night and checked on us asleep in our makeup!  

The nurses, dietitians, occupational therapists, social workers, orderlies, pastoral care workers, general hospital staff and of course the doctors themselves were absolutely brilliant. I was treated with respect and dignity, and I always felt I was in safe hands.  

The positive attitudes, professionalism, support and quality of care given to me are qualities to which I aspire in my future profession as a registered nurse. I feel inspired, and feel the nursing staff set an excellent example of the attributes a great nurse should have. 

So please get behind The Alfred hospital’s ‘Dry July’ appeal and help the hospital make spaces a little brighter and more comfortable for those undergoing cancer treatments and their families.  

Rochelle Gengaroli (Former patient, 5 months remission).

2016 Patient Ambassador: Michael George

I was diagnosed with throat cancer on my vocal cords in April 2016. Following the diagnosis I was immediately referred to Professor Sidney Davis and his team at Alfred Health Radiation Oncology (AHRO) for assessment and my treatment program.

Prof. Davis and his team quickly mapped out my treatment program, consisting of 28 treatments over 6 weeks. These began on the 9th May 2016 and completed on the 15th June, as scheduled.  

During my daily visits to AHRO, my treatment was made easier by the staff who were always welcoming and friendly. This wonderful team who included nurses, speech therapists, dieticians, doctors, radiologists and administration staff, were all encouraging and supportive; treating me with compassion and warmth. Having all services available in the same location also makes treatment that much easier on patients and their supporters. 

I also noticed the same compassion and consideration shown to other patients undergoing their treatments during the same period. Family members and friends who accompanied patients also received the same consideration. It is just as important for patient supporters to understand the process and feel comfortable during these difficult times to come to terms with the prognosis and treatment programs. 

The facility at The Alfred is continually in need of upgrades and improvements to ensure that all patients who suffer from this horrible disease, cancer, feel comfortable, supported and have the best treatment possible. The Alfred is a major Melbourne medical facility and patients come from far and wide to receive the best care, with the latest equipment and treatments. Making patients feel comfortable during their treatment program and having the various health services and program available to support them, eases the stress of treatment as well as provides the best opportunity to return to good health again.      

Dry July for The Alfred is a chance to support this facility to raise funds to provide improved treatment facilities, improve support programs, create improved environments and surroundings and generally brighten the outlook for the growing number of cancer patients and their families and friends. No-one expects to need these services but the reality is that one day either you or a member of your family will need to go through treatment and you will want it to be as comfortable as possible. It’s not until you need the services and expertise of this world class medical facility that you realise how much difference the little things can make to your treatment. Please support Dry July for health with your financial donations and donate now!!! 

I urge and encourage you to spread the word and encourage your family, friends, colleagues and network to support Dry July and donate generously to The Alfred.      

Thank you  

Michael George - “2016 patient”

It’s all happening here at The Alfred during Dry July

Check out our collection of photos which show how the staff here at The Alfred like to get involved with our Dry July campaign.

Who's willing to go booze-free for the month of July?

Thank you for helping to make a difference to the lives of people living with cancer.

We see it every day, the difficult journey not only our patients face but the impact of these challenges on their family and friends. With funds raised through Dry July we are able to provide spaces that are comforting and relaxing and generally reduce the stress often associated with hospital visits, like our Dry July garden. This has turned a previously unused space in a purpose designed garden alongside the radiotherapy waiting area.

Funds from Dry July participants in 2015 will help to renovate our reception and waiting area, transforming the space into a tranquil and peaceful area to visit. Plans are also underway to refurbish the patient kitchen on our cancer ward. Once finished patients and their visitors will be able to access a new ice machine as well as hot and cold filtered water tap, which will give them the ability to make a nice cup of tea or coffee.

The Alfred is again thrilled to be a beneficiary of another Dry July campaign. By doing something good for your health you can help us continue to make improvements that will help ease the burden of receiving treatment for cancer.

Refurbishments at The Alfred

The Alfred will use Dry July funds to update the patient waiting area at William Buckland Radiotherapy Centre. This will include refurbishments to the reception area, introduction of more private seating for patients and carers, and mobile phone charging stations. 

In addition, the hospital will use Dry July money to improve 7 East ward kitchenette for patients, including: installation of a duel water filter tap which provides filtered cold water and boiling water from a unit above the sink; adding more storage; building a shelf for the ice machine; including a shelf for the microwave to free up bench space; and fitting out an area for bin storage. Patients spend a lot of time on the ward and these simple upgrades to the kitchen area will make the space a little more welcoming and usable.

Donate to The Alfred, Melbourne