Ken is from Menindee, a small town 630 kilometres from Adelaide, and has been staying at Cancer Council’s Greenhill Lodge for 12 months, while receiving treatment for acute lymphatic leukaemia.
Throughout the regular trips to the hospital for treatment and tests, Ken has always had Cancer Council SA’s supported accommodation to come back to for support and a place to stay.
When Ken first received his cancer diagnosis, the doctor told him he’d only have two months to live. That was over a year ago now.
“At the start I was in hospital for about two weeks and then I was back every three weeks to have chemo treatment. Sometimes the treatment lasted well over a week. Once I was in there for 18 days straight because I was really ill,” Ken says.
“I’ve just started chemo again and I go to hospital twice a week, to get blood tests and see how things are going.”
“To come back to somewhere like this that’s so pleasant, and the people are so pleasant and accommodating, means everything.”
Ken is from a small regional town on the outskirts of New South Wales, so coming to Adelaide was a real culture shock. He says having somewhere to stay and support from the staff and volunteers at Cancer Council SA has meant everything while being so far away from home.
“The staff and the volunteers are brilliant, they’ll bend over backwards to try and help you in any way possible. You can have a good home cooked meal, it’s a great place to bed down and you don’t have to worry about anything,” Ken says.
“With the support and being in a good facility, all the things you thought were important take care of themselves like accommodation, food, laundry and transport – you don’t have to worry about transport from here to where you’re getting treated.”
Ken says one of the most special things about being here at Cancer Council’s Greenhill Lodge during this time, has been the people he’s met along the way and seeing the resilience in others around him going through their own cancer experiences.
“You get to know the people here, it’s wonderful because for nearly 12 months now, they’ve been my second family because I’ve been away so long,” Ken says.
“Everyone helps each other, we all talk about our problems and being surrounded by people who are all in the same boat is a real boost. It can pull you up out of the doldrums a lot.”
In the past year, Cancer Council SA has provided over 27,500 nights of accommodation for regional South Australians, like Ken, who need to come to Adelaide for their cancer treatment.
Learn more about Cancer Council SA’s cancer support services.