Wednesday, August 31, 2016
ED---Tracey-Leukaemia-story

Building hope

David Lee January 6, 2016
LIVING WITH LEUKAEMIA… Leukaemia recovery patient, Tracey Stokes and Leukaemia Foundation Community Relationship Coordinator, Kristin Paton. Photo: Emma Hillier.

LIVING WITH LEUKAEMIA… Leukaemia recovery patient, Tracey Stokes and Leukaemia Foundation Community Relationship Coordinator, Kristin Paton. Photo: Emma Hillier.

ALTHOUGH living with leukaemia is frightening for Tongala resident, Tracey Stokes, she is embracing the change with open arms and appreciates the help and support received by the Leukaemia Foundation. But Tracey is mostly looking forward to the foundation’s new Building of Hope facility that will offer those living with leukaemia even further hope and support.
After being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML), through tears of sadness, anger and confusion, Tracey could not help but ask ‘why me?’
After wiping her tears away, Tracey came to the realisation that life was not over. She began to see and appreciate the important things in her life, and was determined to work around her ‘impairments’ and strive to increase her ability to participate in life.
Tracey particularly credits the Leukaemia Foundation for their fantastic support and the way in which they helped to alleviate a great deal of stress from her treatment process through the offer of free accommodation close to Tracey’s hospital for her prolonged treatment. She says this Foundation-provided apartment had become her home-base and being across the road from her hospital, it eliminated the need to travel five hours back and forth between home and hospital.
Tracey said, “Knowing I had a ‘home’ base opposite the hospital made my mind focus on getting well.”
Tracey is excited about the Leukaemia Foundation’s new Building of Hope facility, which will open mid this year and consist of 15 new family apartments located adjacent to the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre. The Building of Hope is specially designed to cater to the needs of blood cancer patients like Tracey who are forced to drop everything and relocate from regional and rural areas across Victoria to receive life-saving treatment at Melbourne’s major treating centres.
“When you are sick and having to go to hospital every day for treatment, you need to focus on your well-being not where to stay, what it will cost or how to get from A to B. Unfortunately, there seems to be more demand, not less. The Building of Hope will be a great addition to the Foundation and families in need,” Tracey said.
The Leukaemia Foundation urgently needs to raise funds for the Building of Hope project. To donate, call 1800 HOME4U or visit www.buildingofhope.org.au