June 16, 2021

Going dry this July for cancer patients

This year, Northern Health is once again taking part in Dry July to raise vital funds to provide at-home care and comfort to more cancer patients in the north.

The service called NOAH@Home was launched last year and provides oncology and haematology patients the opportunity to receive certain chemotherapy or supportive treatments in the comfort of their own homes. Northern Health is once again taking part in Dry July, to raise money to purchase another car, so the program can be delivered to more local cancer patients, like Brooke Leguier.

Brooke’s cancer journey began early last year, after she found a lump under her arm. Brooke went for a check-up and was immediately referred to a breast care surgeon at Northern Hospital Epping. That’s when Brooke was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Brooke underwent chemotherapy, surgery to remove both breasts, and radiation, all while Victoria grappled with COVID-19.

“When I came here, I felt comfortable. I was coming in weekly,” Brooke said.

“The nurses were nice. The cancer was in the right breast and they said the chances of it coming to the other breast was high, so I had to remove the left breast too.”

When asked about who motivated her to stay strong during her journey, Brooke said her three daughters inspired her. But it was Brooke who inspired her daughters to show support for their mum.

Tabatha Andrade and one of her sisters, shaved their heads and, when their mum beat cancer, Tabatha decided to prepare comfort bags filled with goodies for our breast cancer patients.

“We were pretty grateful for all the support we could get from our family and friends,” Tabatha said.

Brooke Leguier














Brooke (middle) with two of her daughters

Northern Health wants to help more patients, like Brooke, receive care in the comfort of their own home through the NOAH@Home program. Brooke is extremely grateful for the program and, to show her thanks, both Brooke and Tabatha have joined the Northern Health Dry July team this year.

The Dry July team want to help raise $30,000 to purchase another vehicle to take the program to more patients in the north. We are delighted to announce that we are guaranteed to receive 100 per cent of the funds we raise in the form of a grant from the Dry July Foundation.

Melissa Gwynne, Nurse Unit Manager, Day Oncology, is thrilled that this year’s Dry July fundraising campaign is going towards purchasing a new car.

“We are in the process of expanding our successful program to deliver chemotherapy in the home. Another vehicle will enable us to expand our geographical parameters to include areas such as Kilmore, Wandong and Broadford,” Melissa said.

“We could accommodate treating another 30 to 35 patients per week. Please join us in the fundraising campaign and help us create care for our patients.”

Josie Verga, Fundraising and Engagement Manager, Northern Health Foundation, encouraged anyone to join the Northern Health Dry July team.

“As a team, together we can support each other through the challenges of giving up alcohol for the month, a small sacrifice to make. But at the same time, raising funds to support our cancer patients while on their treatment journey,” she said.

“Thanks to the support of Aware Super, Readings Cinema, Melbourne Markets and Quest Apartments, we have some amazing prizes and incentives for team members.”

Join our Dry July team and help us raise funds for cancer patients at Northern Health. Not only are there health benefits in giving up alcohol, but you can win some amazing prizes exclusive to Northern Health team members only.

The first 20 individuals to join our team will receive a Dry July bottle opener. Two complimentary Reading Cinemas tickets, kindly donated by Reading Cinemas Epping, will go to the first 10 team members to fundraise $250.

The first 10 team members to fundraise $500 will go in the draw to win a one night stay accommodation, generously donated by Quest Apartments Epping.

The team member with the most individual donations at the end of the campaign will win one air fryer, kindly donated by Aware Super. Finally, the top five fundraisers at the end of the campaign, will receive a fresh fruit hamper, kindly donated by Melbourne Markets.

To join the team, click here.

To donate to the Northern Health team, click here.

Featured image: Brooke Leguier; Cheryl Murray, Breast Care Nurse Consultant; Tabatha Andrade and Northern Health patient (seated)