A familiar family | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
 In Inspiring Stories

Shanie was one of the first in-patients treated at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. Diagnosed with sarcoma in 1997, Shanie and her family are well accustomed to the ins-and-outs of cancer care and treatment. Shanie’s aunt and uncle, Sylvia and Sam Kaplan, fund research in sarcoma at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse through their foundation as part of their support for Shanie. “We want to do anything possible to help the research to support Shanie and anyone else who’s suffering from this terrible disease,” says Sylvia.

Having been treated at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse for the last four years, Shanie has made friends with people across the hospital, from nurses, to administration staff, other patients and the patient advocate, Gail O’Brien AO. Because of this, Shanie describes Chris O’Brien Lifehouse as “more like a familiar family. It’s just got this warmth. Having to go through a tough experience like cancer is so much easier when you’re in a familiar environment.”

With Chris O’Brien Lifehouse being such an integral part of Shanie’s life, Sylvia could not think of a better way to help, “We absolutely adore Shanie and we are just so happy that we can help with the research and just help Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in any way we can.”

Donations made by the Kaplans in 2018 have already been put to use in the Comprehensive Sarcoma Centre at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. At the end of last year, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse employed a new clinical trials coordinator with the help of the Kaplan’s support. Clinical trials are a crucial component to discovering new treatments for sarcoma, and this appointment helps to shed light on how patients like Shanie can have a greater chance at living with this rare, yet devastating cancer type.

Shanie is overwhelmed by the support she has received from her family, “There is, of course, always that love and the support – supporting me, supporting my mum and the family. These donations just took it a step further. What Sam and Sylvia have done for me is just incredible.”

You can learn more about supporting research into cancer by contacting us at development.office@lh.org.au.

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