People in North Otago suffering from cancer do not have to do it alone, Daffodil House manager Sandra Wilson says.
Since 1989, Dunedin has been home to Daffodil House, a Cancer Society accommodation provider for many people from around Otago and Southland who need to travel to Dunedin Public Hospital for cancer treatment.
It has 11 rooms for clients and their partners, and is a home away from home in close proximity to the hospital.
The house has a communal lounge, garden and kitchen and over the time people are there many form strong friendships through the shared experience of going through treatment.
Mrs Wilson said many people from North Otago used the service. Out of a total of 2239 bed nights in 2016, 163 of those were from the area.
She believed the service was essential, especially for people who lived in rural areas.
“I actually think it’s vitally important because often they’re frightened and if they come to a place like this they’ve got support. They’re going into an unknown and coming into an unknown .. they have that companionship from other people and privacy if they don’t want that.
“There’s always someone there if they want someone to listen to them. To me that’s the biggest thing, the companionship they offer each other.”
Mrs Wilson believed the number of people that used the service had grown in North Otago thanks to the Cancer Society having a support person in Oamaru.
Support had also come from local group and organisations, such as the North Otago Vintage Car Club, that will be part of a national rally to raise money for the Cancer Society.
Club members will also help deliver daffodils to local businesses as part of this year’s Daffodil Day appeal, which takes place next Friday.
Mrs Wilson said that kind of support was invaluable.