Cancer Council WA's Crawford Lodge theatre room officially opens

Country cancer patients at Cancer Council WA’s Crawford Lodge in Nedlands now have a place to relax, recline and enjoy a movie or some live music thanks to a new multi-functional theatre room built with funds from Dry July.

CCWA Chief Executive Officer, Susan Rooney, said the funds raised from Dry July have enabled some very exciting additions at the two lodges, particularly the theatre room at Crawford Lodge.

“This is a wonderful room that will allow up to 20 guests to relax in a comfortable environment and unwind and watch a movie, listen to some acoustic music, or perhaps take in some live sport on television,” Ms Rooney said.

The room includes sound proofing, reclining chairs, surround sound system, screen and stage and lighting. 

As well as the theatre room at Crawford Lodge, there were a number of other improvements to the lodges which were made possible:

•    a covered walkway at Crawford Lodge was built -  where guests previously walked outside the main building and along a short path to access their rooms, this domed cover now enables them to get to their rooms without having to walk through cold, rain and winds;

•    ceiling fans were installed at Crawford Lodge and Milroy Lodge - this gives the country patients staying at the lodges an alternative airflow option to air-conditioning during the hot summer;

•    mattresses were replaced at Milroy Lodge -  the existing mattresses at Milroy Lodge were seven years old, and were replaced with high quality durable and more comfortable mattresses; and

•    WiFi and Skype were introduced at both Crawford Lodge and Milroy Lodge - Skype-enabled computers and printers for guests were purchased to use at the lodges; tablets and WiFi were bought to enable guests to communicate with family from the comfort and privacy of their own rooms.

Ms Rooney said the changes will make a significant difference to the guests at both lodges.

“We appreciate the support of everyone who went dry in July to help these additions become a reality. They’re directly helping nearly four thousand country cancer patients who stay in our two lodges each year in Perth while they undergo treatment,” Ms Rooney said.

Cancer Care Western NSW opens Stage 2 of Western Care Lodge

On Monday 19 May, Cancer Care Western NSW officially opened Stage 2 of the Western Care Lodge in Orange NSW. Dry July was a proud supporter of Stage 2.

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Western Care Lodge provides accommodation for rural patients from Central and Western NSW who are receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment at Orange General Hospital. A radiotherapy course can last up to 6 weeks, so having accessible and affordable accommodation close to treatment can mean the difference between undergoing or forgoing treatment.

Funds from Dry July went towards fitting out and furnishing Stage 2 of the lodge, which includes 8 twin bed bedrooms with ensuite. Added to the already completed 14 bedrooms (Stage 1) the lodge now comprises 22 bedrooms, shared kitchen and laundry facilities, common lounge and resource library. Located within walking distance of the hospital, the lodge is now complete and operating at capacity.

Cancer Care Western NSW identified the need for dedicated cancer patient accommodation in Orange because:

  • There are 1,600 new cancer cases annually in Central and Western NSW, with patients travelling from as far away as Bourke, Lightning Ridge, and Coonabarabran for treatment in Orange.
  • At least 50% of cancer patients will be prescribed radiotherapy at least once during the course of their treatment. However, in Central NSW only 30% of patients undergo radiotherapy. In part this is due to patients being unable to afford time away from home (whether due to work or family commitments and/or the cost of being away from home for several weeks). This lower rate impacts on treatment outcomes and survival rates.
  • Staying at Western Care Lodge means little to no out of pocket costs for patients and carers eligible for IPTASS subsidies; whereas staying at a local motel would cost significantly more. Clinicians expect to see the treatment rate of cancer patients gradually increase due in part to the ease of accommodation at the lodge.

With Western Care Lodge nearby and a second linear accelerator recently brought online, Orange General Hospital is now seeing around 68 radiation oncology treatments per day.