The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell said the recent passing of a much loved Mooroopna woman underlined the utmost importance for the establishment of radiotherapy services at Goulburn Valley Health for local cancer patients.
In an adjournment debate in State Parliament recently, Ms Lovell told of the tragic passing of Mooroopna woman Sergia Thompson, better known as Cherry, through the words of Cherry’s 26 year old daughter Sharelle. Cherry passed in July this year, five months after being diagnosed with brain cancer and after deciding not to continue treatment at the Albury Cancer Centre to be closer to her family.
“Cherry completed two treatments at the Regional Cancer Centre in Albury but ceased treatment to be at home with her family rather than being away for many weeks,” Ms Lovell said.
Ms Lovell said private provider GenesisCare advising her that they have been successful in securing a Health Program Grant to establish radiotherapy services in Shepparton is a major step forward. Cherry’s journey is a sad reminder that these services are vital for Goulburn Valley patients.
“I would like to convey my sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Cherry Thompson and thank her loving daughter Sharelle for courageously telling her mother’s story in the hope of getting radiotherapy services at GV Health,” Ms Lovell said.
Cherry’s story (as told by her daughter Sharelle):
I just read an article from the Shepparton News on the need for radiotherapy services at GV Health and felt like I would like to share my experience with the absolute NEED for this in Shepparton. My mother Cherry Thompson was diagnosed with brain cancer in March of this year. It was an aggressive Grade 4 glioblastoma tumour and was given a prognosis of 14 months with treatment. The treatment involved oral chemotherapy and a course of radiation.
We were sent to the Regional Cancer Centre in Albury where we organised for her to stay in the accommodation there but as my dad is elderly and doesn’t drive anymore and following brain surgery my mother was not able to drive, it provided a massive obstacle in getting her to and from Albury weekly and even walking the 10mins to the hospital from the accommodation as she had difficulty walking due to the part of the brain that was affected. On one of the days, we had to arrange for Mum to get a taxi to drive her less than 2kms to get her treatment.
After two treatments, my mother made the decision to not continue treatment as she didn’t want to travel and be away from family and friends for weeks on end. She wanted to be home surrounded by family. Mum said if the treatment was available in Shepparton, she would have done it to try and fight her illness but her desire to not travel every week and stay home was stronger.
Unfortunately, my mother passed away in palliative care in July, 5 months after diagnosis. If this story or if I can do anything to assist getting radiation services to Shepparton, I would be happy to assist in any way as I feel this is something that is greatly needed in our region. We shouldn’t have to travel to Bendigo or Albury for these services.