Even with Vivienne's long travel hours, she is one of the fortunate ones - her cancer was diagnosed and her proximity to the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse Port Macquarie clinic meant we could put her on track for the best treatment option, as soon as possible.
That's why our regional clinics are so crucial. They move the expertise of Chris O'Brien Lifehouse to the patient, so patients can make the right decisions, get the best quality of care, and have the best chance of survival - no matter where they live.
Vivienne's tongue cancer required surgery and a free-flap reconstruction as part of her treatment. This complex and specialist surgery is standard for the multidisciplinary head and neck surgical team at Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, as the busiest head and neck unit in New South Wales.
While this kind of surgical and reconstructive procedure is standard for our head and neck team, it is not available at all where Vivienne and Rodney live.