Helping country cancer patients, one Longest Table at a time

30 Nov 1999

A cancer diagnosis is heartbreaking under any circumstance. But for country cancer patients, the emotional and financial burden of leaving their support network behind and travelling to Adelaide for essential treatment can create further strain in an already turbulent time. 

The Hospital Research Foundation (THRF) Group’s Under Our Roof project eases this pressure, with four family-style homes for country patients and their families to stay in while receiving treatment. 

For Lorna and her family, Under Our Roof was a blessing. 

At 50 years old, Lorna Treacey from Whyalla was looking forward to a new chapter in her life with her two kids grown up and living independent lives. 

But only seven weeks after her 50th birthday, Lorna felt a lump under her armpit.

“I had a mammogram before I turned 50 and it came back clear. Six months later, I had a 7cm tumour in my breast,” Lorna said. 

“It’s always someone else, until it’s not.” 

Lorna underwent 5 months of IV chemotherapy, radiotherapy, a mastectomy and surgery to have her lymph nodes removed. 

Throughout this time, Lorna and her husband made over 10 trips to Adelaide from Whyalla for countless medical appointments and treatments. 

“The trips to Adelaide become really expensive, and accommodation prices are crazy after Covid,” Lorna said. 

That’s where the Under Our Roof homes come in. 

While dealing with the financial burden of travelling, medical appointments and accommodation, Lorna was recommended Under Our Roof for a 5 week stay during her radiation treatment.  

She stayed in one of the spacious Woodville West homes at a subsidised price, allowing her parents and children to stay at the house and support her during her treatment. 

“Having that house was a Godsend,” Lorna said. 

“It takes the financial pressure off, which takes away stress and worry. It made a huge difference in our lives.” 

Lorna is currently finishing six rounds of oral chemotherapy until the end of March. 

She has returned to work for a few mornings a week and is finally starting to feel like life is going back to normal. 

Under Our Roof has primarily been community-funded over the last 10 years thanks to dedicated cancer fighters who support fundraisers like The Longest Table. 

It’s thanks to your ongoing support that THRF Group can continue to provide subsidised accommodation services to patients from regional areas undergoing cancer treatment. 

By hosting a Longest Table, you can make a real difference in the lives of people like Lorna fighting cancer by providing a home away from home to recover from cancer treatment.