Hopetoun resident, Karen Campbell, has become the face of our new appeal urging the community to support our Christmas appeal, following her bladder and kidney cancer diagnosis in April 2021.
Karen said she was blindsided by the news.
“My diagnosis came around really quickly last year,” she said.
“I did not feel unwell, but one day I noticed blood in my urine. I immediately made an appointment with my GP and was lucky enough to get in the same day.
“My GP then ordered me to get an ultrasound that same day even though it was a two-hour drive. The next day I saw my GP for the results, who then instructed me to drive three hours to Albany for an MRI.
“The news came as a huge shock; I was diagnosed with two primary unrelated cancers – bladder cancer and kidney cancer – which would mean lots of travel to Perth for treatment.”
How Milroy Lodge helped
Our accommodation Lodges provide a home away from home for country cancer patients when they need to stay in Perth, to reduce the added financial hardship of their diagnosis.
Karen would have really felt the financial impact of finding accommodation in Perth during her treatments if she hadn’t found Milroy Lodge.
“If I had stayed privately in Perth for the initial eight-week treatment, the accommodation would have been well over $5000. And that’s a lot of money, because you have to pay in advance for an Airbnb or a motel.
“Thankfully my urology nurse at Fiona Stanley Hospital suggested Milroy Lodge in Nedlands.
“Financially, I could not have afforded to stay in private accommodation each trip but more importantly, my illness became so much less of a burden because of Milroy Lodge,” she said.
“It is hard for people to understand how remote we are in regional towns. The Lodges are really special, because we can relate to each other’s experiences and frustrations.
“I spent Christmas at Milroy Lodge last year and despite spending Christmas away from my family, I had the support of lifelong friends, Lodge staff and volunteers to get me through.
“I am so proud to be the face of the appeal and encourage the WA community to get behind this Christmas appeal to support this vital service for those in the regions.”
Our Cancer Information and Support Services Director, Melanie Marsh, said she was pleased Karen had benefited from her experience at Cancer Council WA’s Lodges, and that she feels supported and reassured throughout her journey.
“It’s wonderful to hear how our services are helping regional cancer patients like Karen and making a real difference in their lives by addressing and alleviating concerns such as financial and emotional stress that occurs so often during a cancer diagnosis,” Ms Marsh said.
By supporting our Christmas Appeal, you can ensure cancer patients and survivors, like Karen, have vital support when they need it most.