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Family ties provide chemotherapy comfort

The family of a mother and son treated at the St John of God Murdoch Cancer Centre have generously funded a new chemotherapy treatment chair for the ward as a third family member awaits treatment.

12 Mar 2021

The family of a mother and son treated at the St John of God Murdoch Cancer Centre have generously funded a new chemotherapy treatment chair for the ward as a third family member awaits treatment.

Carmel Chiari and son Oli, 20, underwent treatment for breast and testicular cancer in the ward between in 2018 and 2019 respectively. Carmel’s sister-in-law, Rina, will also be undergoing chemotherapy at Murdoch in March.

The Chiari family wanted to contribute a memento of their appreciation to the nurses and oncologists that cared for them and ensure the comfort of future patients, like Rina.

Carmel said she was in awe of the level of compassionate care given to her by the team at the Cancer Centre during her treatment.

"I expected doom and gloom at my first admission at the Murdoch Cancer Centre. Instead, I found an amazingly supportive and happy team whose care and compassion was unwavering, especially when my young son was a patient," she said.

"Both Oli and I have sat in those chairs a lot and it gives me comfort to know my sister-in-law will be able to experience a new level of comfort when she soon becomes a patient."

Chemotherapy chairs are recliners specially designed for patient comfort and support, while also providing ease of clinical access for caregivers. The chairs come at a cost of $7,500 each.

St John of God Murdoch Cancer Centre Nurse Manager Marie Condon, said the chairs are especially important, as they can make an infusion or treatment easier or more comfortable, often for very unwell patients.

The new chair joins 20 other chemotherapy recliners in the Murdoch Cancer Centre.

Photo: Carmel Chiari with sister-in-law Rina and son Oli, pictured with the new chemotherapy recliner alongside their oncologists Associate Professor Kynan Feeney and Associate Professor Daphne Tsoi.

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