Albany radiation oncology service goal in sight as campaigner makes final fundraising push

Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
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Albany’s radiation oncology facility under construction at Albany Health Campus. INSET: Campaigner Mary Williams.
Camera IconAlbany’s radiation oncology facility under construction at Albany Health Campus. INSET: Campaigner Mary Williams. Credit: Laurie Benson and Sarah Makse

As Albany’s radiation oncology service continues to take shape, a woman who has campaigned for the facility for more than five years is ramping up fundraising efforts to ensure patients receive the best care and comfort.

Denmark’s Mary Williams has been a vocal advocate in the fight for the region’s first cancer treatment unit, putting pressure on politicians and raising about $37,000 to improve the experience of patients once the build is complete.

Work on the $13.1 million facility started in May with the service scheduled to be operational in the second half of next year.

The facility will house a specialised radiation bunker known as a Linac suite, where a medical linear accelerator will use high-energy X-rays to destroy cancer cells while sparing surrounding tissues.

Albany radiation oncology service campaigner Mary Williams.
Camera IconAlbany radiation oncology service campaigner Mary Williams. Credit: Sarah Makse/ Albany Advertiser

About 300 patients a year from across the Great Southern are expected to use the service.

Ms Williams will hold a quiz night at the Albany Stirling Club on November 26 to celebrate five years of progress and make a final push for fundraising ahead of the service’s opening.

She has already held a fundraiser in Denmark and hopes to hold further fundraisers in Mt Barker, Walpole and Kojonup.

“We can then relax knowing that there is some money in the coffers for the people to have something extra — this is for the care, comfort and needs of our patients,” she said.

Ms Williams said she was elated to see the building finally take shape at the Albany Health Campus.

The radiation oncology unit takes shape at Albany Health Campus.
Camera IconThe radiation oncology unit takes shape at Albany Health Campus. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser

“It is very exciting for our patients to get them off the road and for them to be with their loved ones,” she said.

“The worst part for me is in five years we have lost a lot of people waiting.

“I just cannot wait for the day when we can open that door and we can say you don’t have to travel anymore.”

Ms Williams said she would start a small committee to help decide how to spend the funds.

For quiz night tickets, visit Gommes Shoes on York Street or call 9842 1692.

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