GENEROUS GIFT: Calliope Rodeo Association handed over a $3000 cheque to the Gladstone Hospital Oncology ward’s nurse manager for cancer care Nicole Branch. Pictured with patient Julie-Anne Rothall are Desley O’Grady and Calliope Rodeo sponsor McCosker’s Richard Gilmour.
GENEROUS GIFT: Calliope Rodeo Association handed over a $3000 cheque to the Gladstone Hospital Oncology ward’s nurse manager for cancer care Nicole Branch. Pictured with patient Julie-Anne Rothall are Desley O’Grady and Calliope Rodeo sponsor McCosker’s Richard Gilmour. Helen Spelitis

Cheque mates provide boost for oncology ward

THIS will be the Calliope Rodeo's 30th year, and in keeping with tradition the rodeo association and sponsor McCosker handed over its annual cheque for $3000 to Gladstone Hospital.

The money will go to the oncology ward where about 30 patients receive treatment for cancer each week.

Julie-Anne Rothall is one patient who visits the hospital regularly for tests to check her white blood cell count.

She is at risk of developing leukemia and said the more money coming into the hospital, the better the outcome for the community.

"I come in every three months," she said.

"But for the patients who are here weekly, having a bit more money to make the oncology ward more comfortable would be really important."

Nurse manager for cancer care services Nicole Branch said the patients had already said they would like to spend the money making the ward look and feel less clinical.

She said the oncology ward was a popular choice for community donations because most people had been touched by cancer in some way during their lives.

Calliope Rodeo Association's Desley O'Grady said it was a pleasure to hand over the cheque to launch the community-run event.

"Last year we gave $17,500 back to the community," Ms O'Grady said.

"This year we have a band playing Friday and Saturday night as well as PBR - Professional Bull Riders - on Friday night and Saturday afternoon."

Ms O'Grady agreed with Ms Branch that cancer treatment was a relatable cause to support on behalf of the community because so many lives had been touched by the disease.



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