Your support can help young patients relax, learn and establish themselves in the face of a cancer diagnosis
A safe place for young people with cancer
“I often wonder, who else has cancer? What are they going through? It will be so beneficial to see other young people going through the same thing you are. It helps to normalise the whole situation.” - Kai Suteja, patient
In December 2021, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, in partnership with Sony Foundation, completed construction of a dedicated space for adolescents and young adults (AYA) living with cancer.
The ‘You Can’ youth cancer Centre, is located on Level 7 of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, and is a space for AYA patients to socialise, relax or reflect while they navigate the difficulties of cancer treatment. It is the largest You Can Centre in Sony Foundation’s national network, and is the first to offer free on-site self-contained apartments for regional AYA patients and their families who need accommodation.
Dr Vivek Bhadri tells us, “My patients often speak of how isolating the cancer experience is for them as a young person. The You Can Centre will make an enormous difference in giving our young patients a place to connect. I’m grateful to Sony Foundation and our donors who help to provide this sanctuary to our patients during an incredibly difficult and challenging time.”
A cancer diagnosis can have detrimental effects on a young person’s introduction to adulthood and the workforce. Often young patients have their study interrupted by treatment or haven’t been able to complete secondary education with their peers.
The You Can Centre currently provides age-appropriate spaces including a music room with recording capabilities, study nooks, a movie and gaming room and multipurpose spaces for group sessions and other activities. Our vision for the future includes providing education and vocational support programs tailored to help patients find work or readjust to working life. Your support is needed to help make this vision a reality.
Kai is 26 years old and was diagnosed with a tumour in his chest at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020.
He shares, “I’m incredibly fortunate with my skill set that I can do my work online. I’ve been so sick with treatment that it’s the only way I can work, and even then, treatment can be very disruptive. Being productive and putting out work makes me happy that I can still contribute in some way.”
About Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is a not-for-profit, comprehensive cancer hospital in Camperdown, 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.
By donating today, you can help Chris O'Brien Lifehouse improve the experience for young people with cancer.