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St Vincent’s Private Day Oncology patients need your help

Patients undergoing care for cancer often require many hours of treatment, several times a week. Having such extensive chemotherapy or radiotherapy is extremely difficult emotionally and physically.

While our staff always strive to provide the best possible support, and this is greatly appreciated by our patients, it is also extremely important to provide the most comfortable setting possible.

Our Day Oncology Centre urgently needs to purchase additional specialist treatment chairs for patients receiving chemotherapy treatment. Each chair is $7,500.

Treatment chairs are specially designed to allow patients to be comfortable while receiving treatment. They are padded for optimal relief and are adjustable to allow patients to sit, recline or lie down to sleep during the extended periods of receiving care.

Our medical staff have let us know that the chairs provide great benefits for their patients. “These ergonomically designed treatment chairs provide additional comfort and support to our patients for their long days of receiving therapy,” said Daniela Geminelli, Nurse Unit Manager, St Vincent’s Private, Day Oncology Centre.

With your support, our patients – including Karen, see her story below – will be as comfortable as possible and receive the best medical care during a very difficult time in their lives.

Karen’s story

“St Vincent’s is truly a leader in medical care. You’re not just a patient, you’re a human being. That is what medical care should be.” Karen, speaking about her treatment in the St Vincent’s Day Oncology Centre. 

Karen admits there have been times when dealing with the treatment for breast cancer has been really challenging, especially after enduring three surgeries through all her treatment, she says the staff at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, East Melbourne, has been wonderful.

In particular, Karen says her breast cancer surgeon, Dr Jane O’Brian, and her team have been one of the key reasons she has coped so well.

“Jane said to me, when I work with you, I have your back. She made me feel extremely secure and truly went above and beyond. In fact, post-surgery while I was recovering, she would come in at 6.30 am every morning, still in her running gear, just to touch base.”

Karen was most impressed with the way her case was handled. She said she never had to repeat her story because the whole team were across her treatment. Importantly too, they offered her choices and always supported her decisions.

“That was the first step in my rehabilitation – being given choices. It’s very liberating,” Karen said.

Karen is the epitome of positivity. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided to think of it as being given a gift because the diagnosis means she now focuses on living in the present and enjoying the now. That’s why she created a social media group of her closest contacts, so she could share her highs, lows, tears and laughter with her support group.

After making a conscious decision to embrace life and focus on fun, Karen chose to face chemotherapy by wearing a different crazy hat to every treatment session.

“Each week I would wear a different hat. I was a pirate, a fairy and a princess. This was something I could have control over, and I loved that it made staff and other patients smile,” Karen said.

While Karen continues to have health challenges and ongoing treatment, she remains positive and adheres to the philosophy of taking one day at a time. 

Karen is confident in the knowledge that she has an exceptional team by her side.


St Vincent's Foundation
Ground floor
Rear, 55 Victoria Parade
Fitzroy, Victoria 3065