A remarkable milestone not only for us but also for the community and our supporters who have made us what we are today

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Milestones of Hope 

Together we can celebrate a decade of transforming lives and making a difference for people living with cancer, and acknowledge a few of the many milestones that our community of supporters has enabled Chris O’Brien Lifehouse to achieve over the past 10 years.

Integrated Care 

When we first opened our doors, our primary focus was on day treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and the various scans we offer. We didn’t have operating theaters or rooms for in-patient services.

However, this dynamic changed significantly when we celebrated our first overnight patient on the 5th March, 2015.

This pivotal moment marked a significant milestone in our journey, enhancing our ability to offer integrated care to those facing cancer.

“I value the fact that you took care of me as if I was the most important person on earth. Medicines and radiation can cure, but your comforting words of support were more powerful than any medical treatment. I honour your skills, salute your spirit, and thank you with all my heart.”
– Albert, the first in-patient at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

Gail O’Brien - A Beacon of Hope 

Enhancing patient wellbeing has always been at the forefront of our model of care and in January 2017 that patient care progressed to another level with the appointment of Board Member Gail O’Brien, as the Patient Liaison Advocate at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

Gail O’Brien has become a beacon of hope and support for patients facing cancer. Her constant presence offers a comforting touch, providing reassurance and understanding during their most difficult times. Through active engagement with patients, she attentively listens to their concerns and fearlessly advocates for their needs within the healthcare system. 

Her unwavering dedication has significantly improved patient experience, empowering individuals and making them feel respected, supported, and understood throughout their entire cancer journey. 

“Feeling deeply appreciated makes us all work better together. I believe that positive energy makes everything work better because the patient experience is dependent on the wellbeing of our staff.” - Gail O’Brien AO  

Remi’s Tail of ‘Paws’itivity 

In September 2020, Remi began working at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at only six months old, visiting patients with her adorable charm and gentle demeanor, she effortlessly spread joy and elicited countless smiles from the patients she encountered.   

From that day forward, Remi has continued to be a beloved source of solace and cheer at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, brightening the days of those facing cancer with her unwavering affection and compassion.

To Cloak and to Shield 2021

We were awarded funding from the government in 2021 to support palliative care services at Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, which was truly an exceptional moment for us, brimming with hope and promise.  

This much-needed assistance allowed us to nurture our patients with cancer and their families through the most challenging time in their journey.  

“To palliate come from the word palliare, which means to cloak and to shield. It protects you, it shields you. Even if you really can’t fight or fix what the problem is, there are lots of things we can do at any stage to make it more comfortable and focus on quality of life” - Dr Kasia Chmiel – Head of Palliative Care.

It has significantly enhanced the quality of life and comfort for those facing a terminal diagnosis, ensuring that each patient's unique needs are met with compassion and dignity. 

You Can, You Hope 

Cancer is a challenging journey to endure at any stage of life, but for adolescents and young adults, it is particularly difficult to grasp. In April 2022, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse was proud to launch the YouCan Centre – an oasis and safe haven tailored just for them. 

The You Can Centre is a special place where our younger patients and their families can find solace and connection. Here, they can bond with others who are going through a similar experience, facing the world of cancer together.   

This unique centre provides support, understanding, and accommodation for families, ensuring that no young patient feels alone on their path ahead.

Chris O'Brien Lifehouse stands tall today as a testament to the power of compassion, innovation, and our generous supporter community. 

As we look back on our incredible journey, we eagerly embrace the future, ready to continue treating the whole person, offering hope, healing, and a brighter tomorrow for all who journey through our doors.  

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About Chris O'Brien Lifehouse

Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is a not-for-profit, comprehensive cancer hospital in Sydney. From screening to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and wellness, we treat all types of cancer, specialising in those that are complex and rare. We offer patients every service and therapy that they need including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, complementary therapies and supportive services, all under the one roof.

Everyone needs hope. We live on hope.
- Professor Chris O’Brien AO

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