Meet Donna Callinan | Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
 In OpenHouse News

Donna Callinan has been giving to Chris O’Brien Lifehouse every month for the last six years – despite living 400km away in Dubbo, NSW.

Donna’s husband Barry was a head and neck cancer patient after being diagnosed with an aggressive tumour on his facial nerve in 2008.

Barry was under the care of current Chris O’Brien Lifehouse clinicians Dr Kerwin Shannon, Justine Oates and Sarah Davies at RPA hospital until he sadly passed away in 2013.

“Back then, we used to say ‘wouldn’t it be great if it was all under one roof,’” says Donna. Having to visit the various rooms along Missenden Road was very exhausting.

When Barry and Donna heard that Chris O’Brien Lifehouse was becoming a reality, Barry joined forces with his employer, Elders and the Dubbo Stock and Station Agents, to host a local fundraising ball.

“The Dubbo Saleyards are a great community and everyone got behind it,” Donna says. “They knew how passionate Barry was and he was grateful to have Gail O’Brien attend the ball.”

In 2013, when Donna attended the opening of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, she knew their funds were well-placed.

“Barry would have loved it,” says Donna. “I’m so glad that people in Barry’s situation now have a place like this to come to.”

We’re incredibly grateful to Donna and all our other regular givers, whose generosity ensures we can continue to deliver the most up-to-date and patient-centered care to all those who walk through our doors.

To become a regular giver or to learn more about what your generosity could help to achieve, contact Kate Overton-Clarke at

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