You Can fight cancer at new hub at RBWH
Queensland’s largest hospital will soon be home to the state’s only public specialised adolescent and young adult cancer centre thanks to the collaborative efforts of Sony Foundation and Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today announced the centre is set to open in early 2019 thanks to a $1.8 million donation from Sony Foundation and a $500,000 funding commitment from the Palaszczuk Government to support adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 25 undergoing cancer treatment.
“This state-of-the-art purpose-built centre will benefit youth cancer patients, and act as a hub for clinical research to advance treatment and increase survival rates,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“It will also address a gap in care and support that can sometimes exist when a patient is too old for paediatric services, but too young to be treated alongside adult patients.
“Being in an environment with people their own age and who also understand the physical and emotional issues they are facing will give them the best possible chance to respond to their diagnosis and treatment.”
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said one of RBWH’s largest, and most prestigious services, was its Cancer Care Service.
“The cancer care service is home to the largest bone marrow transplant program in Australia, and is staffed by some of our country’s best doctors, nurses, researchers, physiotherapists, dieticians, pharmacists, wardies and everyone in between,” Mr Miles said.
“I know the dedication the Royal Cancer Care team have for their patients, and I know the time and effort that has gone into making this centre a possibility.”
Member for McConnel Grace Grace said the dedicated centre would be a social hub where teenagers and young adults can hang out in age-appropriate relaxation spaces with the latest technology.
“Teenagers these days have a lot on their plate, whether it’s dealing with study, work and social activities. Fighting cancer just adds to these many challenges,” Ms Grace said.
“I am pleased this new centre will be a place of solitude, comfort and comradery for these young patients to enjoy activities together and support each other.”
The youth cancer care service at RBWH is delivered in partnership with Children’s Health Queensland’s state-wide Queensland Youth Cancer Service.
RBWH Executive Director of Cancer Care Services Associate Professor Glen Kennedy said the centre would be life-changing for young patients battling cancer, but it would also advance treatment and research.
“This will allow us to grow our service as we pursue clinical research to advance treatment and survival outcomes,” Assoc Prof Kennedy said.
“Here at RBWH we are unique in that we treat patients from all over Queensland.
“In every way possible this is a massive step forwards and we are so incredibly proud of the dedication and work that has gone into making this a reality for our patients.”
In 2010, Sony Foundation established ‘You Can’, a youth cancer program to fund specialised youth cancer centres and services around Australia to address the current gap in the system.
CEO of Sony Foundation Sophie Ryan said to date, over $8 million has been donated by Sony Foundation to fund youth cancer initiatives including You Can Centres in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, cancer research and support services.
“Today is a significant milestone on our journey to improve the overall experience from treatment to survivorship for young cancer patients,” Ms Ryan said.
“For too long our young people have fallen through the gap, too old for children’s hospitals, yet too young to be alongside the elderly in adult wards. Sony Foundation’s ‘You Can’ campaign is committed to ensuring they are treated in age-appropriate environments.”