A shared passion | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
 In Inspiring Stories, OpenHouse News, Patient Stories, Team Lifehouse

Antonia Korsanos and Leanne Enright met when Antonia came to Lifehouse for her first chemotherapy treatment. They recognised a shared passionate nature in each other along with a love of art and coffee.

 

Antonia Korsanos, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse patient

Meeting Leanne was comforting. She walked into the room and I could tell she was very experienced and she had a friendly, comforting demeanour. Leanne cares about the work she does. It comes across strongly in the way she relates to patients. One day I was walking down the street and I was feeling a bit down. I saw Leanne and she brightened my day just by saying hello. Leanne is sincere in her care and support of patients.

I admire her for the work that she does, this is not just a job for Leanne and that’s obvious. I’m a very passionate person and when I believe in something I’m completely committed. I see the same in Leanne. I love it, I love seeing people execute their work without it being a chore, or just a job. That is especially key in this field of work, it matters. I wish we had more people like Leanne.

Like me, Leanne is interested in art, loves great food and is very particular about her coffee. We’ve only known each other for the 18 weeks I’ve been coming for treatment but we can talk about anything and everything. As long as Leanne’s here in the ward, I feel good. Chemo is not a battle when Leanne is around.

Leanne’s encouraged me on my journey down the path to fitness. When I first came here I had a lot of questions. I was looking to understand how the treatment would affect me and how combining fitness and nutrition could make a difference. Despite being 18 weeks into chemotherapy treatment, I feel better and healthier today than I have in a long time. I have improved energy levels and fitness and I feel mentally and physically stronger.

You do the things under your control and you hang on to the things that give you comfort. Being active gives me comfort, time alone with my music gives me comfort and seeing Leanne gives me comfort.

 

Leanne Enright, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse

The first time I met Antonia was when she came for her first chemotherapy treatment. I remember that day very clearly, feeling this was the opportunity to do what I feel like I do best. I could give Antonia the attention she needed and walk her through the steps. I felt like we clicked that day.

Antonia has a very open personality. It’s easy to gauge where she is sitting emotionally and how she’s feeling on the day. She’s happy to share this with me which is lovely. She’s very intelligent and I enjoy our conversations for that reason.

I agree with Antonia; I think we do see passion in each other. One of the first conversations we had was about scientific research on the importance of exercise in improving treatment outcomes. Antonia took this on and has been doing her walking and working out before chemotherapy treatment. She’s thrown herself into it. And she is showing us that what the science is telling us is correct because her outcomes are so good. She has less side effects and she is in a good place psychologically.

For me this is more than just a job, I believe it is a vocation. If I can just make a tiny difference each day in our patients’ lives, then I feel happy about that and I tell myself: “I’ve had a good day.” It’s a very special job.

I think Antonia and I could be friends outside of this which is wonderful. It’s genuinely been a pleasure to look after her.

You may remember Leanne from our most recent appeal. Thanks to generous supporters like you we have been able to fund two specialist nurses in the coming year. Your generosity has brightened the day of many more patients just like Antonia.

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