The You Can Centre at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Is Open
This is what hope looks like
On Tuesday 26 April 2022, Australia’s largest You Can Centre dedicated to young adults, aged 15 – 35, with cancer was opened at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse with the support of Sony Foundation Australia and NSW Health.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Health Brad Hazzard joined Gale O’Brien AO, our Board Member and Patient Advocate, along with Sophie Ryan, CEO of Sony Foundation Australia, and former Chris O’Brien Lifehouse patient and youth cancer survivor Elliot Prasad for the opening.
The purpose-built centre was designed with our young patients’ social wellbeing in mind to create a haven of comfort, rest and relaxation for our young patients and their families as well as a space for young people to find peer support through their cancer treatment.
The space includes two large kitchens, living areas, consultation rooms, study areas, a theatre and gaming room, a Sony Music recording studio and an outdoor terrace.
The You Can Centre at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse is also the first to offer accommodation for rural, regional and interstate youth cancer patients and their families. It features four self-contained apartments, which model the comforts of home.
“This is what hope looks like”, Gale O’Brien said at the launch. “Here is a welcoming home away from home. Our young patients feel less isolated as they can share their experiences with other young people travelling the same journey. They feel protected in a refreshing, comfortable environment and they find solace here in a world turned upside down.”
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet also spoke of the stress alleviated from families who can now stay close to their loved ones during their cancer treatment.
“To know that they don’t have to stress about accommodation, or travel, to have everything here, I know will make a real difference,” he said.
While Elliot Prasad was being treated at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, he contributed ideas for the You Can Centre during its planning stages along with other young patients.
“Throughout my treatment and setbacks, I was only ever familiar with one other Sarcoma patient who I coincidentally knew through school,” Elliot said. “In just a few weeks of the You Can Centre being finished I have met two lovely, like-minded patients my age. The benefits for the families and the patients are going to be exceptional by connecting with similar-minded people.”
The You Can Centre is a manifestation of Chris O’Brien’s vision to bridge the gap in cancer treatment and provide a holistic approach to patient care.
Our sincere thanks to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, Minister for Health Brad Hazzard, Sony Foundation Australia and our generous supporters for making this possible.