By Trish Dodge, Manager – IOOF Foundation
John Opie House in Hobart is a 15 room accommodation facility that can house up to 24 patients and their carers each night. The centre provides comfortable and affordable accommodation for Tasmanians needing to travel to Hobart for medical treatment, relieving them of undue financial stress and the stress of having to undertake frequent long distance travel to access treatment centres.
Since opening in 2008, more than 1000 families have utilised this centre. The trauma of illness causes concerns about practical elements of life, such as likely loss of income, which could potentially leave family members looking for appropriate accommodation. With the support of the IOOF Foundation, Fight Cancer Foundation, are able to further assist families from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing funding support for people in financial straits who struggle to maintain a ‘normal’ life during these challenging times.
IOOF Employees supporting Fight Cancer Foundation
Football is about spirit, strength, courage and the fight to win. Those touched by cancer share a similar journey and need the same strength and courage to win their individual fight.
This year all IOOF offices were involved in supporting the Fight Cancer Foundation by showing their true colours and wearing their favourite football team’s colours to support the fight against cancer.
Our staff across the country, helped raise money to give children and teens living with cancer a brighter future.
How Fight Cancer Foundation makes a difference
In April 2012, 12 year old Rose complained to her mother, Allison, of back pain. Having raised three sons, Allison was used to frequent visits to her Hobart based G.P., but she was not prepared for the news at this visit.
Rose was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma – a solid cancerous tumour growing in her stomach around her spinal cord and her aorta. Neuroblastoma normally occurs in infants and is rare in a child of Rose’s age. This meant surgery straight away was too risky, and Rose would need chemotherapy to shrink the tumour first. Rose started chemotherapy within the week of her diagnosis at the hospital in Hobart, but was required to complete her treatment at the Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, as Hobart does not have the resources to treat this form of cancer.
In August, Rose and her family travelled to Melbourne for a cycle of high-risk chemotherapy, followed by a stem cell harvest. Once the doctors were satisfied the chemotherapy reduced the size of the tumour, Rose went in for surgery that lasted six hours. Rose spent the next few weeks recovering in hospital while her family stayed nearby at BMDI House, the Fight Cancer Foundation’s accommodation centre. Rose was released, but was required to return frequently for further high doses of chemotherapy and finally a stem cell replacement.
Rose celebrated Christmas and rang in the New Year in hospital but with a smile and such bravery. Rose has just started high school, and is now in remission. She will have regular bone and CT scans to see how she is progressing, and will be closely monitored for years to come with ultrasounds every three months, but in the meantime she can get back to enjoying all the things she loves like swimming, surfing and hanging out with her friends.
For more information visit Fight Cancer Foundation.
For more information on projects supported by the Foundation, please read our newsletter.
Visit www.iooffoundation.org.au or contact Trish Dodge, IOOF Foundation Manager on 03 8614 4560.