Leukaemia Foundation’s Victorian Patient Accommodation Centre officially opens its doors.
Publish Date: 13/7/2016
The Leukaemia Foundation’s Victorian Patient Accommodation Centre was officially opened by the Minister for Health, Hon Jill Hennessy on Wednesday, revealing 15 new apartments for regional families required to relocate to Melbourne for blood cancer treatment.
The apartments will provide a ‘home away from home’ for families when they need it most. Located in the Melbourne CBD and close to major metropolitan treating centres, the apartments are fully furnished and specifically designed to meet the special requirements of blood cancer patients.
Minister Hennessy said the Leukaemia Foundation Victorian Patient Accommodation Centre was “absolutely invaluable”. Following a tour of the accommodation centre, Minister Hennessy congratulated the Foundation on the achievement.
“The Leukaemia Foundation works tirelessly with families, communities and cancer experts to make a real difference in people’s lives,” Minister Hennessy said.
Facilities include a designated lift for blood cancer patients to maintain a hygienic environment, a common area for patients and families to interact as well as landscaped gardens and a rooftop terrace with pool and BBQ facilities. The apartments are designed to be a calming space families can retreat to during what can be a very stressful and difficult time.
“A diagnosis of blood cancer is invariably unexpected, and in acute cases treatment must begin within 24 hours. On top of the initial shock, those affected must deal with the upheaval from their home, work and family to seek potentially lifesaving treatment,” said Chairman of the Leukaemia Foundation, Beverley Mirolo.
The average length of stay is four to six months but this can extend to 24 months in some cases. During these challenging times, the apartments will help to keep families together and relieve the uncertainty and financial burden of having to move away from home.
The $9.1 million “Building of Hope” was made possible by the generosity of donors, fundraising campaigns and a $500,000 grant from the Victorian Government. In addition to the apartments, other facilities include a Support Services Centre with Leukaemia Foundation Blood Cancer Support Staff on hand to meet the emotional and practical needs of families.
“The Victorian Patient Accommodation Centre will be a much needed sanctuary and place of hope for Victorians touched by blood cancers,” Minister Hennessy said.
The first families will move into Leukaemia Foundation’s Victorian Patient Accommodation Centre on August 1, 2016.
The Leukaemia Foundation relies on ongoing support to deliver innovative programs and services that address the needs of families living with blood cancer.