Working in a hospital which treats and supports cancer patients and their families can be pretty confronting. Along with the stories of hope and joy there are also stories of sadness and loss. Haematologist Dr Joel Wight cares passionately about his patients and the exceptional level of care his team provides, and has created a team of staff who are fundraising for their department by participating in Run Melbourne.
At this time of year, training for a distance run can be daunting with the cold, dark mornings and the likelihood of rain! But Dr Wight and his team of ‘Bloodrunners’ are determined.
“We love our jobs and our patients. We want to be able to help them in ways beyond the day-to-day care we provide them.”
The Bloodrunners are raising money to help fund Nursing Co-ordinators in the Clinical Haematology Department. Acting as a reassuring liaison between patients and the ONJ Centre, the Nursing Co-ordinators rely in part on donated funds for their existence.
“Our Nursing Co-ordinators are the lifeblood (if you’ll excuse the pun!) of the Clinical Haematology Unit,” says Dr Wight. “They offer advice, support and resources for our patients and they help organise appointments and transport. They counsel our patients with new diagnoses, or at relapse, or when we’re transitioning to Palliative Care. They troubleshoot small problems before they become big ones, which means less complications, less hospital admissions, more time at home for patients and better quality of life. They are an indispensable part of our Unit and our patients feel the same way!”
With a team of eight all running various distances from the 5km to the half-marathon, Sunday 29 July is coming up fast! Dr Wight is hoping to run his first half-marathon and cleverly builds his training into his daily routine.
“My daily commute is a 4.5km run from home and back again which I do 3-4 times per week. I will also build in a few longer runs and hopefully a few group training sessions as the big day draws near.”
Run Melbourne is a unique opportunity for staff to raise funds for their own department.
“Our fundraising effort is primarily focused on helping us provide personalised support for our patients. This is a pillar of cancer care, but it receives relatively little attention from a research and funding perspective. This fundraising effort is one small way that we can contribute to something we all care about,” says Dr Wight.
“I say to anyone thinking about participating and helping their department – Just Do It!”
You can help support Joel Wight and the Blood Runners by making a donation here.
You too can enter Run Melbourne and fundraise for your department or area! Run as an individual or create your own team with colleagues, family and friends. Learn more