Article from 2021/2022 Impact of Giving Annual Report
My Room Children’s Cancer Charity was founded in 1993 when a group of parents came together, after their children were diagnosed with cancer, to raise money to renovate the rooms of the cancer ward at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH). While the organisation and its fundraising targets have grown substantially over the years, My Room’s vision was, and continues to be, ensuring that families going through the cancer journey are alleviated of financial and emotional stress so they can concentrate on what matters most: being with their child.
Since its establishment, My Room has had an incredible impact on the RCH. In 1998, My Room began supporting a social worker position within the Children’s Cancer Centre (CCC), something they still do to this day. Social workers play an integral role in the emotional and social wellbeing of children who are undergoing cancer treatment at the hospital, as well as their families, something that Chief Executive Officer of My Room, Margaret Zita OAM, says is incredibly important.
“Social workers are instrumental in making sure that families get the support and attention required, and families trust and confide in them. This information is in turn conveyed back to My Room, which allows us to act as Samaritans in the background, alleviating concerns for families where possible by supporting their financial needs,” said Margaret.
“So many families are not even aware of the support that My Room provides. The charity has always prided itself on just alleviating the stress for families so they can continue to care for their child and family without the added pressures a cancer diagnosis brings. The social workers have the ability to bring those concerns directly to My Room, who in turn ensure that we alleviate any stresses with a quick turnaround and without bureaucracy.”
In addition, My Room supports a patient amenity fund for the CCC, which provides invaluable financial assistance to families of children attending the CCC who experience financial hardship as a result of their child’s illness.
“Supporting the patient amenity fund is extremely important to families. For example, My Room’s ability to reduce the stress of paying for funeral costs makes a massive difference to families.
Like so many other situations, a difficult time is met with some reprieve, which is desperately needed for way too many families that are in major financial strain at the end of their journey,” said Margaret.
My Room, which will celebrate its milestone 30 year anniversary next year, has raised in excess of $30 million for a range of cancer related causes since its inception, and has been an avid and long-standing supporter of a range of projects at the RCH.
“This milestone means a lot to us as a charity that started out through humble beginnings. We aim to continue growing our awareness of the work we do so we can extend the support nationally across our four funding pillars; family support, medical equipment, clinical care and research and trials. We want to continue to evolve and advocate for children
and their families and strive for the best possible treatment and outcomes for all kids and give them hope for a future free of childhood cancer and its debilitating side effects” Margaret said.