THE huge public response to the Peter’s Project campaign has been justly rewarded with news that the cancer centre will offer more than just radiotherapy services.
The final designs, released yesterday, show a building of which the entire community should be proud.
Officially named the South West Regional Cancer Centre, the three-storey building has been designed to tie in with the new Warrnambool Base Hospital that sits on the opposite side of Ryot Street. Along with two radiotherapy bunkers, the centre will include 11 chemotherapy chairs and a therapy suite with four allied health rooms and clinical consulting rooms.
It has now been revealed that the facility will also feature the Peter’s Project Support Centre. This is in recognition of the long-running public campaign, spearheaded by founder Vicki Jellie, which met with wide community support.
Vicki Jellie was angry that her sick husband Peter was forced to travel away from his precious family for treatment. That became the catalyst for the campaign, but she says it would never have happened without the generous community behind her. After securing federal and state funding commitments, the campaign raised $5 million in public donations in just nine months.
The cause still continues to attract donations and these will be directed to an auxiliary which will help with furnishings and equipment for the new centre.
In just four months the construction of the $30 million centre will begin.
In less than two years, cancer patients from across the south-west and into South Australia will no longer face the debilitating trip to Geelong, Melbourne or elsewhere for short bursts of radiotherapy.
The South West Regional Cancer Centre will be open.
It is not the first time the district has banded together to achieve a great outcome. The south-west emergency rescue helicopter was another example where a family affected by a tragic death did not want to see others suffering a similar fate. Every time the helicopter is in the air we can feel proud of that achievement.
Both are examples of what Vicki Jellie describes as “just ordinary people trying to help ourselves”.