The Ba-Lee Lodge helps families during tough times

18 Jan 2021

Funds raised for Dry July 2020, along with a grant from the Dry July Foundation, will enable the Andrew Love Cancer Centre to make upgrades to our Ba-Lee Lodge. This will make a big difference to patients like Mike.


Mike’s Story:

“Our family (my wife Dawn, our daughter Jessica and our son Jason) migrated from New Zealand 16 years ago.

Dawn and I became Victorian dairy farmers. I got into the habit of getting a biannual health check and was due for this when I discovered a lump on my neck. After several tests and scans I was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer.

I asked the doctor “if the prognosis was bad please tell me as I have will go into the Ford dealership and buy a mustang as I have always wanted one”....after this, he said that I had a good chance of complete recovery after treatments.

It was another devastating blow for our little family, our children had lost their great grandparents and three of their grandparents to cancer and watched their mother fight her first battle of cancer at only 41.

She went into remission and then ten years later fought stage four cancer. She again went into remissions so when I got the news that I had cancer it was very hard to tell our children this news.
After the initial shock and a few tears we regrouped and started putting a plan in place to get though the next few months.

I currently have radiation every week day for seven weeks as well as chemotherapy every Monday. The impact on our lives is huge but we look at it as just another hurdle that life has given us to get over. The Ba-Lee Lodge, has been great as we live over two hours away. It has been great to have a home away from home.

The units have been great, and have been well maintained over the years, but are starting to get a little dated. The planned refurbishment of the units will be great not only keeping the units up to date but also more comfortable.

We are very grateful to the people that have participated in Dry July for the continuous funding of this project. Our son-in-law participated in Dry July last year raising over $2000 and he was pleased to know where some of the money is used in different areas.

The fundraising from Dry July helps to get things that make the treatments a lot more manageable, especially through the recent COVID restrictions with no visitors allowed in hospital.

It was great to have access to the lodges so my wife was able to sit in the unit while I have my treatments just down the road.

Still don’t have that mustang.....”

Dry July raised an astounding $141,737.08 for the Cancer Services at Barwon Health. The funds will enable the  purchase of items and run Wellness Programs and activities such as exercise therapy, art therapy, oncology massage and yoga as well as the upgrade to our Ba-Lee Lodge.

To find out more about how you can be involved in Dry July 2021 contact