Having accessed our support services last year following his own diagnosis, Ray Divall is on a mission to raise funds for us this Dry July and support other West Aussies facing a similar situation.
As a Wagin resident, Ray understands firsthand how vital accommodation facilities are for country cancer patients undergoing treatment.
"My main reason was to give something back to the Lodges. I stayed there on the 1st of August last year and they had just finished their Dry July... seeing what they managed to raise and what they built for us people that live in the country, because the government is not supplying this, they make it so lovely for us country people to go through the journey we travel."
Ray is particularly appreciative of our Crawford Lodge staff that looked after him during his stay.
"When I first went to Crawford Lodge I met Liz at the front desk who never forgot your name... and Karen, the Cancer Council lady that was there, you could visit her every day if it was needed, and she tells you exactly what support is available."
During his stay at Crawford Lodge, Ray was also able to access some of our other programs and services made available by our wonderful staff and volunteers.
"The transport service took us to Men's Shed each week or out to the shops. There was also an exercise physiologist who calls in and gets you on a plan for what exercises you can do during your treatment."
For Ray, Dry July has not been without its challenges but he says the support from his community has been a big help.
"For one, I work away and while I am away I am actually living in a hotel so you've got alcohol every day in front of you. But the public is supporting us very well... one of the girls that works at the hotel part time... she's doing it as well and everyone is getting behind us and donating."
Asked why he chose to support us through the Dry July campaign, Ray said the ‘reason is simple'.
"Everybody's been through the journey somewhere along the way with their families. Cancer is so common now with so many different types. In Wagin we had five people diagnosed alone, two of us in Bunbury and three of us staying at Crawford Lodge, all at the same time. I recommend Crawford Lodge to everybody."
In the past, proceeds from Dry July have helped us to:
- Conduct kitchen renovations at Crawford Lodge
- Build a shade covered walkway at Crawford Lodge
- Build a theatre room at Crawford Lodge
- Replace mattresses at Milroy Lodge
- Install ceiling fans at Crawford and Milroy Lodge
- Introduce WiFi and Skype at Crawford Lodge
- Introduce a transport to treatment service for Peel and Rockingham patients