Give up grog and help central Victorian cancer patients

GIVING up alcohol for Dry July could help improve the lives of central Victorian cancer patients.

Bendigo Health has been named as one of this year’s Dry July beneficiaries, with money to go towards a revamp of its oncology unit.

Dry July encourages individuals and teams to give up alcohol for a month and raise money to help adults living with cancer and their families improve their quality of life.

Registration for the annual campaign opened yesterday at www.dryjuly.com.

Bendigo Health oncology unit manager Karen Wellington said money raised would be put to good use.

“The oncology unit has very limited space and it’s a very tired, old building,” she said. “This is where the patients come in and have their chemotherapy and see the doctors as well.

“So given that the new hospital won’t be for another three years at least, we want to brighten up the environment here for the patients between now and then.

“So what we’re looking at doing is bit of a facelift.

“We’ve got navy carpets and dark-blue trims on walls and things like that and what we’re looking at doing is putting a floorboard look through the corridor and repainting the walls, getting rid of all the dark colours and getting brighter lighting in the ceilings. 

“It depends how much is raised, how much we can do, I guess, but the intention is to make it a more pleasant experience for patients.”

Ms Wellington said money could also be used for items like chemotherapy chairs.

“If we get $4000 we might be able to buy a chair. If we get $50,000 we might be able to jazz up the unit.

“So it just depends on how much money we get. This is the first time we’ve been a beneficiary of Dry July.”

Ms Wellington encouraged central Victorians to sign up for Dry July. The initiative, in its sixth year, will support 31 beneficiaries across Australia.

Past campaigns have funded 94 MacMed Healthcare mattresses at Calvary Mater Hospital and allowed Canberra Hospital to implement a Harp Therapy Program that aims to relieve pain and anxiety.

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