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Holiday Breaks for Families Affected by Cancer

Wednesday 9 August, 2017

Cancer patients and their families who are in desperate need of a short break away can enjoy a cosy getaway this spring by taking advantage of a Cancer Council Victoria Holiday Break.

The Holiday Break Program provides Victorians with cancer a one-off short getaway, with accommodation at no cost, by matching holiday home owners with families affected by the disease.

Katherine Lane, Nurse Manager of Cancer Council 13 11 20, said the program provides people with a much needed holiday when it would normally be out of reach.

"Going through a cancer experience is a time when someone can need a break more than ever, but it's also a time that can be expensive and stressful so people are less likely to be able to afford a holiday or be in a position to organise one," Ms Lane said.

"The Holiday Break program means people with cancer can share quality time with loved ones away from the hectic schedule of medical appointments and cancer treatment, and with accommodation at no cost."

Ms Lane said winter can be a difficult time and encouraged eligible families to consider a getaway to somewhere here in Victoria heading into spring time.

"Spring is the perfect time to shake off winter and take some time to relax and recharge. Whether you're after a cosy spot in front of a fireplace or a dog-friendly back yard, we'll work with you to help you find the right spot for your break. "

Yvonne, a previous guest of the Holiday Break program, expressed her gratitude to the owners of the home she stayed in: "I can't thank you enough for your wonderful generosity in allowing my family to stay at your beautiful cottage. We enjoyed everything your relaxing home had to offer, especially the very cosy wood fire. I will always remember our break away at Marysville."

Last year, Cancer Council Victoria provided 114 cancer patients and their families with a short holiday break. This included:

  • A 35 year old man who called Information and Support on 13 11 20 to organise a holiday for his wife (undergoing treatment for bowel cancer) with their two children. They absolutely loved the beach however were under financial pressure - and were very thankful for a midweek break at Phillip Island.
  • A 68 year old woman with metastatic lung cancer was able to go on a short break away to the countryside of Mirboo North with her husband and two dogs. Being able to offer accommodation that was pet friendly meant the "whole family" could go.
  • A young mum was able to take her 13 year old son and family (4 kids, 2 adults) on a break to the beach after finding out her son was in remission for leukaemia. It was a way for them to celebrate.
  • A terminally ill lung cancer patient was provided with a beach getaway along with his adult daughter and her two young children, which was a chance to relax and share lasting memories.

Ms Lane thanked the everyday Victorians who generously donate their holiday homes for the Holiday Break program, and encouraged anyone able to consider donating time at theirs for others in need of a break.

"Property owners can provide their homes for any length of time, and at any time of the year. Their generosity can't be underestimated - this program would not exist without them!"

For more information about the Holiday Break Program, or to enquire about donating your holiday home, please call Cancer Information and Support on 13 11 20.