This month we introduce you to Samantha Kanizay, Manager of Fight Cancer Foundation’s Hobart accommodation centre, John Opie House. Samantha’s involvement with Fight Cancer Foundation began when her family stayed at Fight Cancer Foundation’s North Melbourne accommodation centre while her mother received treatment for cancer. Since then, Samantha has gone on to become a staunch advocate for Fight Cancer Foundation and works tirelessly to support seriously ill Tasmanians at John Opie House in Hobart.
How long have you been involved with Fight Cancer Foundation?
I have been involved with Fight Cancer Foundation for many years, first in a volunteer capacity and then joining the team as John Opie House Manager seven years ago.
What do you do? (What does this involve/look like?)
Running the John Opie House in Hobart is such a broad and rewarding role. On a daily basis I welcome patients and their carers into the House to stay and often advocate on their behalf for Government funding to assist with their stay, contact social workers and counsellors or arrange other assistance as required. I provide continual support with an ‘open door policy’ for all guests who stay at John Opie House.
I also plan and execute two fundraising events a year, with the help of a volunteer committee. This involves working with many local businesses and members of parliament to gain support not only for the events but to engage each stakeholder throughout the year so that they can see where every dollar goes. I believe that this is imperative.
How did you become involved?
Many years ago my mother had a Bone Marrow Transplant at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Our family was fortunate enough to stay at the BMDI Rotary House and experience the support and care provided by Fight Cancer Foundation (then Bone Marrow Donor Institute) first hand. I knew deep down that I wanted to help in some way, and a few years later the John Opie House opened. I feel so fortunate that I can draw on my experiences to assist others in need.
Why do you choose to volunteer your time with Fight Cancer Foundation?
Fight Cancer Foundation was there for my family during such a daunting time. Simply: I want to give my time to such a giving and worthy organisation.