Lauren Jackson back to lend support

Lauren Jackson
Lauren Jackson

BASKETBALL superstar Lauren Jackson will be back on the Border on Monday to launch a campaign to raise $2 million to support treatment and services delivered by the new Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre.

Jackson is the patron of the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre Trust Fund, established to raise money to buy specialised equipment, support services, cancer research and professional development for medical personnel at the centre.

Construction of the centre is due to be finished in October 2015.

Trust fund chairwoman Di Thomas said the campaign launch would see the unveiling of the trust fund prospectus and website, as well as a call to “raise the banners” to encourage corporate, community and individual donations towards an initial $2 million fund-raising target.

Jackson said she was passionate about the quality of life enjoyed by Border residents and proud to be the trust fund patron.

“The fund will allow both individual and corporate donors to give their support to a facility that will allow cancer patients to remain within their own communities and close to the support of family and friends when they need them the most,” she said.

Ms Thomas said since the announcement the federal government would provide $65 million to build the cancer centre, the trust fund and Albury Wodonga Health had continued to receive donations from all sectors of the community supporting the establishment of a wellness centre, the purchase of specialised technology and research.

Monday’s launch will include a handover to the trust fund of donations held by Albury Wodonga Health, as well as money raised at events hosted by Rotary, Probus and the Westpac Bank Albury.

Albury Wodonga Health project officer Greg Pearl said most of the excavation for the new centre had been completed at the site adjacent to the Albury hospital.

Mr Pearl said walls and floors were being precast off-site and by late April-early May, the public would begin to see the building’s ground and first floors take shape at its western end as excavation for radiation bunkers was completed at the eastern end.

“Overall, progress is good,” he said.

“We are aiming for completion date of October 1, 2015 and expecting the centre to be functional by the end of 2015 but certainly no later than early 2016.”

Mr Pearl said there were ongoing discussions about the operation of services at the new centre that will bring together public and private cancer care in the one facility.