Just weeks before his arrival at Charles Wanstall Apex Lodge, Arthur Cranston had no idea the facility existed. As he and his wife made the journey from Rockhampton to Brisbane in early January, they weren’t sure what to expect upon their arrival at the lodge, but say they’ve been continually impressed by every aspect of this “home away from home.”
Arthur is currently being treated for prostate cancer, but has proved himself to be a fighter over the years having overcome bowel cancer eight years ago, legionnaires disease during the 1990s, and a fall in which he broke his neck in 1985. Yet it’s these experiences, alongside the supportive environment of the lodge, that allow Arthur to maintain a positive outlook that he says helps enormously.
While he’s been impressed by the lodge facilities, Arthur says it’s the people he has met who have had the greatest impact. Lodge transport volunteers have made it possible for Arthur to not only attend medical appointments, but also to complete everyday tasks like grocery shopping. While lodge volunteers and staff have made what could be a stressful experience as relaxing as possible, simply by offering a smile and someone to chat to.
A highlight of each week for Arthur is when volunteers and lodge residents gather on Thursday to share tea, biscuits and conversation. He says that being surrounded by others who understand his experience helps him feel more relaxed, optimistic, and less isolated.
His stay at the lodge is the first time Arthur has used any of CCQ’s services, but says he has been completely blown away by the experience. Throughout his stay, volunteers and staff of the lodge have been willing to go the extra mile to ensure his needs are met and any questions he’s had are answered. It’s this dedication and willingness to help, along with the friendly and helpful personalities of everyone there that he says he will remember most fondly.
As Arthur counts down to his return home, he says he can’t fault anything about his experience at Charles Wanstall Apex Lodge, and is extremely grateful to everyone who have made his stay comfortable and relaxing. His main hope is that all the staff and volunteers of the lodge keep up the good work to continue making a positive impact on the lives of people like him.
Words by Elsbeth Lieschke, Communications Volunteer