Two husbands, two wives, facing the unknown | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
 In Inspiring Stories

“He had just been diagnosed, and I was off to have my first go of chemotherapy. It was quite an emotional thing. Two husbands, two wives, facing the unknown.”

Ian Bailey speaks of the vivid memory he has of crossing paths with his friend and colleague, Chris O’Brien in the lift at Gloucester House, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, both diagnosed with cancer and with IV drips in tow.

It is through this friendship that Ian and Margaret Bailey formed a very strong connection to Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, having known Chris and Gail O’Brien well before Chris O’Brien Lifehouse was a concept. In seeing Chris O’Brien Lifehouse turn from a glimmer of an idea to the facility it is today, Ian and Margaret are thankful for the care it has since provided their loved ones. “Chris O’Brien Lifehouse has not only provided care for Ian, but for lots of our friends and family as well. We feel very close to it for that reason,” Margaret says.

The Baileys are generous donors to Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and have recently focused their giving efforts to the research undertaken by Dr Nitya Patanjali in radiation oncology. “Radiotherapy is so vital and more research needs to be done in this area,” says Ian. “The radiation oncology team are really lovely people who make patients feel relaxed, which is what you want – not to be terrified. After Ian finished his treatment last year, he actually missed going in, it was almost a social event!” continues Margaret.

Both Ian and Margaret strongly believe that people have to see Chris O’Brien Lifehouse to understand the effectiveness of a holistic cancer centre, “Talking about it is one thing, but actually seeing it convinces them that Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is a great thing for our community. Before that it’s a cancer hospital and that can be really scary to a lay person,” says Margaret.

We’re deeply grateful for the continued support from the Baileys. Supporters like Ian and Margaret help us fund research that can transform outcomes for patients and families living with cancer.

You can transform outcomes for patients and families living with cancer, contact us at to discuss how you would like to make an impact. 

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