It’s Official...Queensland You Can Centre Build Underway!
23 year old cancer survivor, Anika Dean recently assisted Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services Steven Miles and Sony Foundation Ambassador Giaan Rooney in the official ‘Ground-breaking Ceremony’ for Queensland’s first public specialised centre for 15 to 25-year-olds fighting cancer.
Mr. Miles said once opened in May, the Sony Foundation You Can Centre at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital will be the largest of its kind in the country. “Around three Queenslanders aged 15 to 24 are diagnosed with cancer each week,” Mr Miles said.
“More than 140 young patients receive treatment at RBWH each year – however, these patients often find themselves in between children’s and adult services,” he added. “This centre will address that gap by giving adolescents and young adults the best possible chance to respond to their diagnosis and treatment.”
Queensland’s first You Can Centre is being made possible with a $1.8 million donation from Sony Foundation, a $500,000 commitment from Queensland Health and almost $500,000 from Metro North Hospital and Health Service. Designed to be a social haven away from the hospital wards with relaxation areas, it will feature the latest Sony entertainment technology, kitchen/dining, areas for study, yoga and consult rooms, an outdoor courtyard and most importantly, a space for young people to be together providing crucial peer support.
“Site works have commenced and the first steel delivery has arrived so we can expect to see the structure really taking shape over the coming weeks,” Mr Miles said.
“What was an unused roof space will soon be a state-of-the-art social hub where patients can meet people of a similar age and facing the same emotional and physical issues, can find a place of comfort and comradery to support each other,” he said.
Sony Foundation CEO Sophie Ryan said that since its inception in 2010, the Foundation’s ‘You Can’ youth cancer program has donated more than $8 million to fund initiatives including You Can Centres in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, as well as youth cancer research and support services.
“If you are a young person facing cancer, we want you to know that you are not alone,” Ms Ryan said.
“We are proud to work with incredible partners across government, health services and corporate Australia who share the vision of innovating the model of care for 15-25 year olds with cancer. The You Can Centres are changing lives right around the country and we can’t wait to open the doors in Brisbane to enable the same support” she said.
RBWH Executive Director of Cancer Care Services Associate Professor Glen Kennedy said the centre will create life-changing experiences for RBWH patients, while advancing treatment and research.
“Patients from all over Queensland come here to RBWH for treatment, so this centre will allow us to grow our service as we pursue clinical research to advance treatment and survival outcomes,” Assoc. Prof Kennedy said.
“In every way possible this is a massive step forwards and we are so incredibly proud of the dedication and work that has gone into making this a reality for our patients,” he said.