Canberra Hospital

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The Canberra Region Cancer Centre is a world class healthcare facility that brings together cancer treatment, research, teaching programs and related services in one purpose built facility.

The care and support of our patients is central to everything we do.

Services operating within the Centre take a multi-disciplinary team approach to health treatment and support. Our cancer services are made up of several highly skilled teams, including Medical and Radiation Oncology, Haematology, Immunology, Surgery, Bone Marrow Transplant, Psychosocial and Palliative Care to provide comprehensive services to patients and their carers with cancer and related illnesses.

The diagnosis of cancer alters patient’s lives as they know it. Everything is put on hold. The suffering is widespread, with so many loved ones also affected.
Through Dry July and the Canberra Hospital Foundation, your will help us to provide extra support and comfort that will compliment and enhance the treatment and healing of patients, families and carers affected by cancer in Canberra and the surrounding region.

Since 2009, the amazing support of our Dry July community has enabled initiatives and items including the Therapeutic Harp Program, Sleep Pods, the Hospitality Trolley, uplifting art murals, floral arrangements, massage chairs and blanket warmers, just to name a few. These initiatives support patients’ wellbeing by offering relaxation, comfort, distraction and ultimately, help to make very difficult experiences a little bit easier.

This year, with your help, funds raised will support the purchase of new, bright and comfortable lounges, chairs and tables which will furnish the Social Hub in the Wellbeing Centre - a new and exciting addition to the Canberra Region Cancer Centre. The Social Hub will give patients and their loved ones a space to unite, in a warm and inviting environment, dissimilar to the more clinical treatment areas. The space will foster a feeling of homeliness, and encourage connection at a time when patients and their families are navigating the difficult journey of cancer.

By going dry for the month of July, you are making a meaningful difference to the lives of so many people affected by cancer, we are so grateful for your support!

Latest Updates

Artworks for Apherisis Room

With funding from Dry July, these works have been purchased for the Apherisis Room at Canberra Region Cancer Centre. The installation of the Dawsons has already positively contributed to the creation of a vibrant, engaging and therapeutic place of treatment, healing and rehabilitation. It is anticipated that the Larter will further enhance both patient care and the hospital environment in which it is displayed. 

Support for Patients at The Canberra Hospital

The Canberra Hospital has announced it will be using Dry July 2015 funds towards the harp therapy program and towards a new resource room.

Harp therapy has been shown to help cancer patients cope with the side effects of their treatment, and can provide a sense of calm to patients who may feel distressed and anxious in a busy hospital environment. The program at The Canberra Hospital is delivered by a certified harp therapist and has been funded by Dry July since 2012.

Funding for The Canberra Hospital

The Canberra Hospital has decided to use some funds from Dry July 2015 towards projects benefiting patients in the Apheresis Unit, young adults, and patients and their carers staying at nearby Duffy House.

Funds will go towards the purchase of artwork for Apheresis Unit in the Oncology Ward to make the space a more welcoming and supportive environment for patients in this high use treatment area. Some funds will also go towards a DVD to educate young adult patients undergoing treatment about their cancer journey.

The hospital will continue to use funds towards newspaper subscriptions and flowers for Duffy House, which offers accommodation to cancer patients travelling from outside Canberra for their treatment.

Loan Equipment for The Canberra Hospital Palliative Care

The Canberra Hospital is purchasing an oxygen humidifier to be loaned out for their palliative care cancer patients. This will facilitate quick discharge from the hospital for patients who hope to return home where they may feel more comfortable.

Previously, patients in palliative care wishing to return home have had limited access to an oxygen humidifier, making it less likely that they be discharged rapidly.

The availability of the oxygen humidifier has enabled swift transfer of clients from the inpatient environment at a time when they have very little time to wait for one to become available through equipment loans department.  

Stuart’s very special Dry July tribute

At the halfway point in Dry July Stuart Poole is the highest fundraiser in the ACT and has chosen to support The Canberra Hospital. Here, Stuart has generously offered to share his story of why Dry July is a cause close to his heart.

This time last year my brother and I attempted Dry July; we did our best, but at times we received a few golden tickets, and sometimes we just needed a naughty drink.

Why naughty? Well at this time last year our beautiful Mum was fading away. Mum had pancreatic cancer. Around this time last year our worst fears were confirmed, the spots on her liver were cancer too.

It was very stressful to watch our beautiful Mother on life support, it was hard to talk with doctors about how much longer it should continue. Sleep was infrequent, with a couple of 1am phone calls to “get in now”. We were doing our best, but given the circumstances, we snuck a few drinks in. None of our close friends that had sponsored us seemed to mind given the circumstances. Family were coming to say their goodbyes, and every time I left the hospital at night, you knew each goodbye could be the last.

My brother and I both started working part time, so we could have an extra day with Mum each in the week. On Friday August 29th when I went to see her, Mum was weak; she asked me to let her rest, so I went home at lunch and came back in the afternoon. Her friend Coleen came to visit from Wagga (Mum was in Canberra Hospice) and looked at Mum and fled the room and the hospice in tears. She couldn’t believe what she saw. Mum was down to less than 40 kilos, her face was grey and wrinkly. I guess because I had watched the transition I was used to how Mum looked these days.

At 5pm my brother rang from the hospice, he said Mum was very unwell and he was worried, he thought we better get in. My partner drove me in and on the way in the hospice staff handed us a card, with instructions on what was about to happen. It told us what to do when someone dies. I asked “is this it?” They said “yes, your Mother is about to leave us.” I was guttered, nothing can prepare you for this.

My brother and I held a hand each all night, as gradually Mum’s breathing slowed down, and became more and more “rattily”. I asked my Aunty, who was an ex nurse, “is that the death rattles?” “Yes”, she said, without elaborating. At 2 minutes past midnight Mum slowed right down and stopped. Dad proclaimed, “I think she’s gone”. My Aunty checked and said, “I’ll get the nurses.”

That was it, the beautiful lady that had raised us, taught us right from wrong, nursed us when we were sick, made play-dough for us on rainy days and all the other things a good Mother should do was gone forever. And that was that. I will never get over losing Mum. She was the best Mum you could hope for.

We can never change the horrible year that was 2014, nor can we bring Mum back. But we can help to raise money so other people can have a chance, so other families can be comfortable when they visit their loved ones in the ward.

I wish I had studied harder at school, so I could be a doctor, and be a part of the solution. Raising funds for Dry July is probably the best I can do. I feel good without alcohol. I’m hoping to lose a few kilos as well along the way. Maybe I will stay dry for a while after too?

It’s nice to be able to give back. The staff at the hospital and hospice were so nice to us.

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