Linda Young at the ONJ Centre

Small things make a big difference

Diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2015, Linda Young has had radiotherapy, chemotherapy and stem cell transplants in an attempt to treat her aggressive cancer.

"Unfortunately my cancer is terminal, resistant to treatment," says Linda. "I've only had short periods of respite from the cancer. This has meant I've spent quite a lot of time as an inpatient at the ONJ Centre."

More than $2,500 was raised by a group of committed 8 South supporters, enabling the purchase of an additional syringe driver, a much-needed item on the ward, and something that Linda was very grateful for.

The syringe driver is a small portable device used to administer medications continuously under the skin - a more mobile version of the standard IV pole. Sometimes if a patient has nausea or vomiting they are unlikely to be absorbing their oral medication so they are placed onto a syringe driver. It is also used to give a continuous level of pain medication so there are no peaks or troughs in the effects, helping to keep the patient more comfortable.

Hilary Hodgson, Nurse Unit Manager, Ward 8 South is grateful for the generosity and care shown for patients and families by those who raised funds.

"It's so wonderful that people want to help in any way they can," she says. "Run Melbourne provides such a great opportunity for families and friends of patients to raise money for a ward or department of their choice."

"Even small amounts make a difference. The syringe drivers, whilst not an expensive item, make a significant difference to patients. They are small enough to allow patients to walk around the ward rather than being confined to their room. This helps them to feel less lonely and more connected to other people."

"Having the syringe driver allowed me to leave my room, go to the wellness centre or outside into the garden to enjoy the sound of water and fresh air," says Linda. "It made it much easier to be independent, which in turn helped me to feel less like a victim."

"While my life expectancy is not years, with the support of the ONJ Centre my quality of life has improved. I'm grateful to the many who fundraise and support people like me in so many ways."

Individuals and teams taking on the Run Melbourne challenge this year will again be able to raise money specifically for their own department within the ONJ Centre.

Run Melbourne takes over our beautiful city on Sunday 28 July 2019. Run 5, 10 or 21km and fundraise for your own department or area! You can run as an individual or create your own team with colleagues, family and friends. Run with purpose!

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