Whenever you pass or walkthrough the hospital areas in Parkville, Victoria; you will see the Rotary emblem and you ask yourself how did this all happen? A number of Rotarians and guests gathered at the Bone Marrow Donor Institute (BMDI) Rotary House in North Melbourne on Wednesday evening 27th February 2019 where Managing Director of Fight Cancer Foundation (and a new Rotarian with Rotary Club of Melbourne), Eric Wright shared with us the journey which started way back in early 1990's.
Rotary, in partnership with Fight Cancer Foundation, has made an enormous difference to the lives of people living with cancer since 1990. District 9800 helped fundraise $4M to create a world-class Cancer Research Centre in Melbourne, which continues to produce results that improve the outcomes of cancer patients around the world.
The centre comprises thirteen (13) self-contained apartments for regional, rural and interstate families who must travel to Melbourne to access specialist cancer treatment. Close to three major treating hospitals, more than seventy (70) families find a home away from home at BMDI Rotary House each year, helping to alleviate some of the financial and emotional stress and uncertainty brought by a diagnosis of cancer. Most importantly, it keeps these families together during the toughest battle of their lives.
The need for comfortable, affordable accommodation for rural and interstate families requiring treatment for cancer is high. BMDI Rotary House is always at capacity and the waiting list of families desperate for a safe place to stay for up to six months is long. What happens to these families if they can't access accommodation like that of BMDI Rotary House? They might spend their life savings on motel rooms, couch surf or decide to skip the treatment they need all due to the prohibitive cost of accommodation.
Rotary House, Rotary and Fight Cancer Foundation's ambitious new project, aims to provide more families going through cancer with a home away from home. With 30 custom-built apartments that cater to the specialised needs of people recovering from a bone marrow transplant, each year the new facility will provide almost 11,000 nights' accommodation to families who need it most.
This year in June 2019, a planned annual fundraiser breakfast in Crown will be held to raise awareness and gain support from the public in Fighting Cancer - stay tuned on this space!
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