Dry July ambassadors for the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) returned to the Parkville site this month to celebrate the opening of a new hub supporting our cancer patients.

The Nutrition and Head and Neck Respite Hub provides a private space for cancer patients who, because of their treatment, are unable to consume their foods orally. Patients can use the space while they complete their nasal or tube feeding, and to clean their equipment.

The development of the hub, located near the atrium at the Grattan St entrance, was supported through Dry July fundraising, which encourages individuals to go alcohol-free for a month to raise funds for people affected by cancer.

Dry July 2023 opening of Nutrition and Head and Neck Respite Hub
Past Dry July ambassadors for the Royal Melbourne Hospital (from left) Steve and Robyn Mahoney, Deane Reynolds, Kelly O'Sullivan, Shantelle Bentley and Rory O'Sullivan with Head and Neck Oncology and Oral Maxillofacial Surgery Liaison Nurse Kerrie Treseder at the opening of the Nutrition and Head and Neck Respite Hub in June 2023.

Among the special guests at the opening were Steve and Robyn Mahoney. Steve and Robyn did not know anything about head and neck cancer at the time Steve was diagnosed. He received treatment at the RMH and the couple became the hospital’s Dry July ambassadors in 2020.

They said cancer can affect many aspects of daily life for patients and their loved ones, but they also saw how much of an impact Dry July can have.

Steve said it was “fantastic” to see the hub, which would provide “somewhere private, giving people a bit of dignity”. “I really hope people go there to use it,” he said.

“We were proud and humbled to be there and know we were part of raising money for this wonderful space,” Robyn added.

The RMH Foundation interim Director Allison Blahna said the funds raised through Dry July help the RMH provide invaluable supports for cancer patients, their families and carers

“In the past, projects across the RMH that have been supported by Dry July include a library and relaxation room in our Haematology and Bone Marrow Transplant ward, instruments for Music Therapy patients, and window boxes for the Palliative Care ward,” Allison said

“With the generous support of our community, we will be able to fund more projects to help comfort our cancer patients and their loved ones during their time with us.”

Registrations are open for Dry July 2023. Go Dry this July or donate today to help the RMH support those living with cancer. Find out more on the Dry July website: dryjuly.com/thermh

Mobile Stroke Unit with Ambulance Victoria paramedic and the RMH Stroke team
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