Monday, 11 September 2023
Blood Cancer Awareness Month
September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month, and I want to acknowledge the great work done by the Leukaemia Foundation. The foundation helps Hunter residents with blood cancer who need to travel and access treatment. If they need a life-saving stem cell transplant, this means staying in Sydney for 100 days post transplant. The foundation has accommodation sites in both Newcastle and Sydney, as well as a transport program to support this access. They also have a dedicated blood cancer support coordinator based in Newcastle with a regional remit to provide wraparound care for patients in the Hunter electorate.
Since 2020, the foundation has provided almost 10,000 nights accommodation to patients from the Hunter electorate who have needed to travel for treatment, saving these patients thousands of dollars for which they would otherwise have been out of pocket. One young woman in my electorate recently shared her story with me. Lyndell Wills is a bone marrow transplant recipient. Lyndell was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome in 2015 and acute myeloid leukaemia in 2017. When she travelled to Sydney for treatment, she had to leave behind her chickens, her cat and her two dogs to be looked after by her family and friends. Lyndell received a transplant in December 2017 and spent three months recovering at Westmead Leukaemia Foundation patient accommodation centre.
Thanks for the great work being done by the Leukaemia Foundation.