Noeline Rowsell (right), with her daughter Shevaun Rowsell (left) and mum Merle Sandells (centre), who have all stayed at Crawford Lodge during cancer treatment
Cancer Council WA's Crawford Lodge recently celebrated its 20th anniversary marking two decades of providing accommodation and support to thousands of country cancer patients and their carers.
For three generations of Noeline Rowsell's family, the Lodges have been a home away from home, and according to Noeline, the family could not have managed without them. "There has been so much cancer in my family it is ridiculous," Noeline said.
"Out of 17 first cousins on my father's side, only one has not been directly affected by cancer."
Living in Albany meant her family often had to travel to Perth for cancer treatment as there were no treatment centres nearby. Cancer Council WA's Crawford and Milroy Lodges helped reduce the expenses and hardship of being away from home by providing accommodation and support services close to treatment centres.
Noeline's family first stayed at Crawford Lodge during her father's lung cancer treatment.
"Having somewhere to stay close to the hospital was a Godsend as mum didn't drive," Noeline recalled.
Being familiar with the care and support her father received during his treatment, Noeline returned herself around nine years ago whilst undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Five years on, the family were at Crawford Lodge again for six weeks whilst her 30 year old daughter received radiation for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. More recently, she returned with her mother during her skin cancer treatment last year.
"If we didn't have access to the Lodges, we would have had to stay with family or in a hotel every time we came up from Albany, and that would have been too difficult and costly for us," Noeline explained.
"Having access to this accommodation took a load off our minds. It's so easy, you just pack your clothes, everything is there for you and you don't have to worry about a thing."
Since they first opened their doors 20 years ago, our Lodges have seen more than 67,000 check-ins from country cancer patients and their carers from across the state find hope and comfort. The support that our Lodges have provided to these people is all thanks to the generosity of the WA community, as these services are entirely donor-funded.
At the Crawford Lodge 20th anniversary celebration, we reflected on the incredible history of philanthropy that has made a difference to the lives of thousands, and also introduced our new Adopt a Room program that will help ensure this vital service continues into the future.
About Cancer Council WA's Adopt a Room program
The Adopt a Room program allows members of the public to help provide a home away from home and vital support for country families during cancer treatment by adopting a room at the Crawford or Milroy Lodge for a year.
To find out more information about our Adopt a Room program, please contact Nikita Thomas on 08 9212 4331 or read this brochure.