Margaret lights up the Cairns Lodge

Every once in a while, you come across an extraordinary person who is not only a joy to be around but has the ability to lift the spirts of others. Cooktown resident Margaret, who stayed at our Marylyn Mayo Lodge in Cairns, is one of those people.

Margaret stayed at the lodge for five months in 2021, after being diagnosed with omentum and peritoneal cancer and required surgery and chemotherapy treatments.

After Margaret’s initial feelings of ‘shocked and concern’ she quickly reached out to her family for support. The lodge is designed for carers to stay, so thankfully Margaret’s two sisters from NSW – Shirley and Patricia, were able to fly up and stay with her to provide all the support she needed.

Lodge residents can face an extremely challenging time during their stay, not only because they’re away from home but they also attend (and recover from) various medical treatments. Sometimes it can be difficult to keep the spirts high and the mood fun, but fun-loving Margaret managed to do just that!

Marylyn Mayo Lodge Coordinator Annick Dubois, said Margaret and her sisters really lifted the lodge with their help and positivity.

’Her sisters not only looked after Margaret, but all the other residents as well! Shirley cooked meals for everyone, which shows the positive impact carers can have on those going through cancer,’ said Annick.

’Almost every afternoon all the lodge residents gathered together in the recreation area. They had barbeques, [and] some of them were singing and playing guitars. Everyone’s spirits have been lifted and it’s been all worth it to see all the cancer patients having such a good time considering what they are going through.’

Margaret was impressed with the support they received from Cancer Council Queensland.

‘The staff have been outstanding! They guide people to talk about lots of different issues. They are helpful in many situations; nothing has been too much trouble,’ said Margaret.

‘The rooms are well equipped and always clean with a fridge, microwave, television, cookware, cutlery, air con, fans, parking, pool and laundry. It was always a relief to come back to the lodge after appointments and have somewhere safe and relaxing to stay.’

’I would not have managed without Cancer Council’s help and accommodation. The cost of staying for the many months and dealing with everything would not have been possible, even with my sisters’ help,’ she said.

Margaret’s sister Patricia told us they would not have managed without the help of everything Cancer Council Queensland has provided.

’We were always met with caring, kind and accommodating staff – from the admin officers, cleaners, drivers, and volunteers,’ Patricia said.

’Over the five months that she has spent there Margaret had the best experience she could have had from staff and volunteers who put in 110% effort all the time. That’s without mentioning the cost efficiency of staying at the lodge and the convenience of being located near the hospital.’

’The difference Marylyn Mayo Lodge made to Margaret’s life is almost indescribable,’ said Patricia.

We are happy to report that Margaret has been doing well since leaving the lodge. She has registered with Home to Treatment and doctors have been happy so far with her results.

At Cancer Council Queensland we all wish Margaret the very best for the future. Your positive energy and beaming smile have uplifted the spirits and hearts of so many.

Thank you, Margaret!


Residents gardening at the lodge

The sisters were always happy to help out in the garden.

About Cancer Council Queensland’s accommodation lodges:

Cancer Council Queensland’s accommodation lodges support people who need to travel to access treatment.

The lodges offer comfortable self-contained units and studio-style apartments close to major hospitals and treatment facilities.

To find out more about Cancer Council Queensland’s lodge facilities click here.