Long Table Dinner at Cupitt’s Winery An Evening with Gail O'Brien

Guest speaker at the Cancer Outpatients Appeal Long Table Dinner held at Cupitt’s Winery, was Gail O’Brien, Director and Board Member of the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse at RPA.

Despite the inclement weather, the restaurant was packed to capacity for this very popular event. It was a unique opportunity to learn about the ground breaking project at RPA originally spearheaded by Professor Chris O’Brien to build a cancer centre providing a comprehensive range of clinical services, as well as research and education to optimise patient outcomes.

Professor O’Brien was a renowned head and neck surgeon featured in the popular TV series called RPA, which showed him performing surgery on cancer patients. Unfortunately Chris himself was diagnosed with an aggressive and lethal brain tumour that claimed his life in 2009. Both before and during his diagnosis and treatment, Chris worked tirelessly to bring together all levels of government and medical groups to realise his vision. Following his passing, Gail took up the mantle to see the project through to completion, a facility that will forever be her husband’s legacy.

Gail is an inspirational woman who has experienced not only the death of her husband, but also the death of one of her sons and the diagnosis of her daughter with thyroid cancer, all in the last four years, a series of events that would devastate many. Yet, in the face of this adversity, Gail’s inner strength and positive outlook inspire all who meet her as she works to see her husband’s vision become reality.

On a much smaller scale, the vision to provide a wide range of cancer services to patients and families in the southern Shoalhaven inspired the enormous community effort which brought about the Milton Community Cancer Services Centre. Gail toured the centre with the Appeal’s President, Dee Carrington, during her visit and complimented the Cancer Outpatients Appeal Committee for its dedication to completing the facility in such an impressive way.

During the evening, Gail talked about the upcoming fundraisers for the COB Lifehouse at RPA, the 200km bike ride “Sunsuper Ride to Conquer Cancer” taking place in October, and the 60km walk, “The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers” in November. Gail will be participating in the 60km walk and our own Peter Still who, with his wife Chris run Acacia House B&B on Evans Lane in Milton was easily persuaded to enter the 200km bike ride, his team “Doc Brown’s Riders for a Cure”  in memory of his late brother in law who was a GP in Bega and who died of cancer.

If you would like to show your support for Gail and/or Chris go to the Lifehouse website, click on Events and follow the links to their personal/team pages.