Wendy and Graeme have been married for 31 years. So, when Wendy was diagnosed with cancer, a million thoughts raced through her head. Would she survive this? Would she meet her grandchildren? How would she get through the treatment alone, without her husband by her side?
You see Wendy’s life-saving treatment in Melbourne was four hours away from their dairy farm and home. Without suitable accommodation, Graeme wouldn’t be able to stay by her side every day. She would have to carry the burden of her illness alone; going days without seeing him when fighting the biggest fight of her life.
When people are fighting cancer, a family’s love and support is crucial.
Thanks to the support of people like you, Graeme was able to stay at the Fight Cancer Foundation accommodation centre – a comfortable and safe ‘home away from home’, located just a block and a half away from where Wendy received treatment. When the doctors allowed it, Wendy spent time there too – the couple together again.
“It was wonderful … being together as a family,” Wendy says. “It was also safe to go backwards and forwards to the hospital because it is so close.”
This is what you make possible when you give to Fight Cancer Foundation: precious time together and the comfort of healing as a family.
That loving family support can even help to improve patient response to treatment and reduce their recovery time too.
For Wendy, it made all the difference and in July 2014, after 18 months of treatment – including a stem cell transplant – she was given the all clear. Then, the unthinkable happened…
Just a few weeks later, Graeme was diagnosed with lymphoma that threatened to take his life.
Living so far away from Melbourne meant that again, Wendy risked being separated from Graeme –this time when he needed her most.
There are countless families across Australia who are facing similar situations; families who don’t have the medical support close to home and either can’t afford or can’t access high standard accommodation near the major cancer hospitals.
Without our help, they too risk being torn apart when they need each other most.
As well as being comfortable, safe and extremely close to major hospitals, our accommodation centres offer something no regular hotel or apartment can – they’re completely set up to support people, and families, battling cancer.
Each apartment’s heating and cooling systems are set to ensure no cross-contamination – a vital feature when transplants and treatment require patient isolation to protect their supressed immune system. Plus, patients have access to a dedicated building manager – on hand to answer any questions or offer extra support.
Graeme – who after several years of intense treatment is now cancer free – says he will always be grateful for the support Fight Cancer Foundation gave Wendy and him.
“A facility like this is just so important for people who live away from the area,” he says. “It just gives people so much comfort and relief to know that they’ve got somewhere like this that is so close to the hospital.”
When people are fighting for their lives, it’s so important they have their loved ones close by.