As Crawford Lodge prepares to celebrate its 20 year anniversary on Friday 28 February 2020, one Kimberley family knows too well the importance of the community-funded accommodation for rural cancer patients, their families and carers.
For Nevanka McKeon's mother Veronica, Crawford Lodge was a home away from home, and according to Nevanka, her mother's wish was to raise awareness about the facilities and spread the word to other Aboriginal families in the Kimberley region.
"Mum was living in Loongabid on our traditional land, about two hours north of Broome when she became unwell," Nevanka said.
"When she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, we knew we'd have to come to Perth for treatment and were understandably overwhelmed by the physical, emotional and practical challenges we were about to face.
"That's when Cancer Council WA's Kimberley Cancer Support Coordinator told us about Crawford Lodge.
"Crawford Lodge was a life saver for us and from the moment we arrived, it felt like our home away from home.
"The facilities are amazing and the support we received from the staff was incredible.
"Mum loved the beautiful gardens and we'd have family BBQs in the outdoor courtyard.
"We'd enjoy watching movies in the theatre room and spend time together playing games or hanging out in the recreation room.
"Being able to stay at the Lodges while mum received treatment meant the world to us and took a huge load off our minds.
"Before mum passed away, she told me it was her wish to let other Aboriginal families in the Kimberley region know about these great services and accommodation."
Cancer Council WA's Cancer Information and Support Services Director, Melanie Marsh, acknowledged the generosity and unwavering support of the WA community as a significant contributor to the Lodge's success.
"We've come a long way since our humble beginnings 20 years ago, and it is only thanks to the generosity of the WA community that make our Lodges possible," Ms Marsh said.
"The support has given hope to more than 67,000 regional cancer patients, family members and carers who have stayed at Crawford and Milroy Lodges since they opened, and will continue to do so for the thousands more who will stay with us in the future."
Crawford Lodge was officially opened on 29 February, 2000. Each year we have more than 5,000 check-ins of patients and carers to Crawford and Milroy Lodge.
Cancer Council WA accommodation in Perth
Cancer Council WA offers two self-catering accommodation lodges in Perth.
Crawford Lodge and Milroy Lodge offer comfortable, convenient accommodation for eligible, regional cancer patients and their carers who have to travel to Perth for assessment and treatment (subject to availability).
Learn more about Cancer Council WA accommodation in Perth.