After a recent tour of South Africa and Argentina, Wallabies Captain, Michael Hooper and his teammates Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley and Rob Simmons dropped in to see us at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.
Knowing the importance of prevention and early detection of cancer we put the boys through a series of health checks.
Obviously, the team spends a lot of time outside and although the players are very vigilant about protecting themselves from the sun, it’s always a good idea to get a skin check.
The boys then visited the cancer risk reduction clinic. This is where we assess the whole patient and look at lifestyle factors and family history to determine a person’s risk of getting cancer.
After these informative sessions, we took them up to surgical ward 8 South where nurse unit manager Jason Plunkett briefed them on what makes Chris O’Brien Lifehouse such a unique hospital. Jason highlighted the light patient rooms with large open balconies. Natural light and fresh air have been shown to improve recovery.
Next up was the day therapy ward, where it seemed some of the nurses were as (or even more) excited then the patients to meet the players. Lindley Randle showed the boys around and introduced them to patients throughout the ward. The players gave their time generously to talk and take photos with whoever was eager to meet them.
We then moved on to the LivingRoom where the players had a conversation with head of supportive care and integrative oncology Judith Lacey about the similarities between mindfulness and the visualisation techniques they use for their games.
As exercise physiologist Michael Marthick pointed out, the players “probably know a bit about the benefits of exercise.” He explained the evidence on how it can help people with cancer both during and after treatment.
A final stop was made in the radiation oncology waiting room where the guys got to express their creative sides in the Arterie Free Art project, guided by head of Arterie Deb Burdett.
A big shout out to Michael, Nick, Bernard and Rob who gave up valuable time on their day off to come and spend time with us. We hope they learnt a bit more about what we do here to treat patients with cancer. They most certainly brightened up the day for patients and staff!